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very ground that the Parliament had long uncompromising of the young patriots out of been a grossly corrupt body. The security Parliament. When he found that the change against corruption was to be, that the mem- of administration had produced no change of bers, instead of having a portion of the public system, he gave vent to his indignation in the plunder doled out to them by a minister, were “ Epistle to Curio,” the best poem that he ever to help themselves.
wrote; a poem, indeed, which seems to indi. The other schemes, of which the public cate, that, if he had left lyric composition to mind was full, were less dangerous than this. Gray and Collins, and had employed his powSome of them were in themselves harmless. ers in grave and elevated satire, he might But none of them would have done much have disputed the pre-eminence of Dryden. good, and most of them were extravagantly But whatever be the literary merits of the absurd. What they were we may learn from epistle, we can say nothing in praise of the the instructions which many constituent bodies, political doctrines which it inculcates. The immediately after the change of administra- poet, in a rapturous apostrophe to the Spirits tion, sent up to their representatives. A more of the Great Men of Antiquity, tells us what deplorable collection of follies can hardly be he expected from Pulteney at the moment of imagined. There is, in the first place, a gene- the fall of the tyrant. ral cry for Walpole's head. Then there are bitter complaints of the decay of trade-decay
“See private life by wisest arts reclaimed,
See ardent youth to noblest manners i'ramed, which, in the judgment of those enlightened
See us achieve whate'er was sought by you, politicians, was all brought about by Walpole If Curio, only Curio, will be true. and corruption. They would have been nearer to the truth, if they had attributed their suffer. It was Pulteney's business, it seems, to abolish ings to the war into which they had driven faro and masquerades, to stint the young Duke Walpole against his better judgment. He had of Marlborough to a bottle of brandy a day, foretold the effects of his unwilling conces- and to prevail on Lady Vane to be content sion. On the day when hostilities against with three lovers at a time. Spain were proclaimed, when the heralds were Whatever the people wanted, they certainly aitended into the city by the chiefs of the op- got nothing. Walpole retired in safety, and position, when the Prince of Wales himself the multitude were defrauded of the expected stopped at Temple-Bar to drink success to the show on Tower Hill. The Septennial Act was English arms, the minister heard all th: stee- not repealed. The placemen were not turned ples of the city jingling with a merry pea, and out of the House of Commons. Wool, we muttered : They may ring the bells nuw: believe, was still exported. “Private life" they will be wringing their hands before long;" afforded as much scandal as if the reign of
Another grievance, for which of cours? Walpole and corruption had continued; and Walpole and corruption were answerable, was “ardent youth” fought with watchmen, and lhe great exportation of English wool. In the betted with blacklegs as much as ever. judgment of the sagacious electors of several The colleagues of Walpole had, after his relarge towns, the remedying of this evil was a treat, admitted some of the chiefs of the oppomatter second only in importance to the hang- sition into the government. They soon found ing of Sir Robert. There are also earnest themselves compelled to submit to the ascendinjunctions on the members to veto against ency of one of their new allies.
This was standing armies in time of peace ; injunctions Lord Carteret, afterwards Earl Granville. No which were, to say the least, ridiculously un- public man of that age had greater courage, reasonable in the midst of a war which was greater ambition, greater activity, greater likely to last, and which did actually last, as long talents for debate or for declamation. No as the Parliament. The repeal of the Septen- public man had such profound and extensive nial Aci, as was to be expected, was strongly learning. He was familiar with the ancient nressed. Nothing was more natural than that writers. His knowledge of modern languages une voters should wish for a triennial recur- was prodigious. The Privy Council, when he rence of their bribes and their ale. We feel was present, needed no interpreter. He spoke firmly convinced that the repeal of the Sep- and wrote French, Italian, Spanish, Portutennial Act, unaccompanied by a complete guese, German, even Swedish. He had pushed reform of the constitution of the elective body, his researches into the most obscure nooks of would have been an unmixed curse to the literature. He was as familiar with canonists country. The only rational recommendation and schoolmen as with orators and poets. He which we can find in all these instructions is, had read all that the universities of Saxony that the number of placemen in Parliament and Holland had produced on the most intrishould be limited, and that pensioners should cate questions of public law. Harte, in the not be allowed to sit there. It is plain, how- preface to the second edition of the “History cver, that this reform was far from going to the of Gustavus Adolphus,” bears a remarkable root of the evil; and that, if it had been adopt- testimony to the extent and accuracy of Lord ed, the consequence would probably have Carteret's knowledge. “It was my good for. been, that secret bribery would have been tune or prudence to keep the main body of more practised than ever.
my army (or in other words my matters of We will give one more instance of the ab- fact) safe and entire. The late Earl of Gransard expectations which the declamations of ville was pleased to declare himself of this the opposition had raised in the country. opinion; especially when he found that I had Akenside was one of the fiercest and most I made Chemnitius one of my principal guides; for his lordship was apprehensive I might not they were at the head of a decided majority in have seen that valuable and authentic book, the House of Commons. Their rival, meanwhich is extremely scarce. I thought myself while, conscious of his powers, sanguine in happy to have contented his lordship even in his hopes, and proud of the storm which he the lowest degree: for he understood the Ger- had conjured up on the Continent, would brook man and Swedish histories to the highest neither superior nor equal. “His rants," says perfection."
Horace Walpole, “are amazing: so are his With all this learning, Carteret was far from parts and his spirits.” He encountered the being a pedant. He was not one of those cold opposition of his colleagues, not with the fierce spirits, of which the fire is put out by the fuel. haughtiness of the first Pitt, or the cold un In council, in debate, in society, he was all bending arrogance of the second, but with a life ard energy. His measures were strong, gay vehemence, a good-humoured imperious prompt, and daring; his oratory animated and ness that bore everything down before it glowing. His spirits were constantly high. The period of his ascendency was known by No misfortune, public or private, could de- the name of the “Drunken Administration;" press him. He was at once the most unlucky and the expression was not altogether figuraand the happiest public man of his time. tive. His habits were extremely convivial,
He had been Secretary of State in Walpole's and champagne probably lent its aid 10 keep administration, and had acquired considerable him in that state of joyous excitement in influence over the mind of George the First which his life was passed. The other ministers could speak no German. That a rash and impetuous man of genius The king could speak no English. All the like Carteret should not have been able to communication that Walpole held with his maintain his ground in Parliament against master was in very bad Latin. Carteret dis- the crafty and selfish Pelhams, is not strange. mayed his colleagues by the volubility with But it is less easy to understand why he should which he addressed his majesty in German. have been generally unpopular throughout the They listened with envy and terror to the country. His brilliant talents, his bold and mysterious gutturals, which might possibly open temper, ought, it should seem, to have convey suggestions very little in unison with made him a favourite with the public. But their wishes.
the people had been bitterly disappointed; and Walpole was not a man to endure such a he had to face the first burst of their rage colleague as Carteret. The king was induced His close connection with Pulteney, now the to give up his favourite. Carteret joined the most detested man in the nation, was an unopposition, and signalized himself at the head fortunate circumstance. He had, indeed, only of that party, till, after the retirement of his three partisans, Pulteney, the King, and the old rival, he again became Secretary of State. Prince of Wales--a most singular assem
During some months he was chief minister, blage. indeed sole minister. He gained the confi- He was driven, from his office. He shortly dence and regard of George the Second. He after made a bold, indeed a desperate attempt was at the same time in high favour with the to recover power. The attempt failed. From Prince of Wales. As a debater in the House that time he relinquished all ambitious hopes : of Lords, he had no equal among his col- and retired laughing to his books and his bot. leagues. Among his opponents, Chesterfield tle. No statesman ever enjoyed success with alone could be considered as his match. Con- so exquisite a zest, or submitted to a defeat fident in his talents and in the royal favour, he with so genuine and unforced a cheerfulness. neglected all those means by which the power III as he had been used, he did not seem, says of Walpole had been created and maintained. Horace Walpole, to have any resentment, or His head was full of treaties and expeditions, indeed any feeling except thirst. of schemes for supporting the Queen of Hun- These letiers contain many good stories, gary, and humbling the house of Bourbon. some of them no doubt grossly exaggerated, He contemptuously abandoned to others all the about Lord Carteret; how, in the height of his drudgery, and with the drudgery, all the fruits greatness, he fell in love at first sight on a of corruption. The patronage of the church birth-day with Lady Sophia Fermor, the handand the bar he left to the Pelhams as a trifle some daughter of Lord Pomfret; how he unworthy of his care. One of the judges, plagued the cabinet every day with reading to Chief Justice Willis, if we remember rightly, them her ladyship's letters; how strangely he went to him to beg some ecclesiastical prefer- brought home his bride; what fine jewels he ment for a friend. Carteret said, that he was gave her; how he fondled her at Ranelagh: too much occupied with continental politics and what queen-like state she kept in Arling. to think about the disposal of places and bene- ton street. Horace Walpole has spoken less fices. “You may rely on it, then," said the bitterly of Carteret than of any public man ot Chief Justice, “that people who want places that time, Fox, perhaps, excepted; and this is and benefices will go to those who have more the more remarkable, because Carteret was leisure.” The prediction was accomplished. one of the most inveterate enemies of Sir Rv. It would have been a busy time indeed in bert. In the “Memoirs," Horace Walpole, which the Pelhams had wanted leisure for job- after passing in review all the great men bing; and to the Pelhams the whole cry of whom England had produced within his me place-hunters and pension-bunters resorted. mory, concludes by saying, that in genius none The parliamentary influence of the two bro- of them equalled Lord Granville. Smollett, in thers becare stronger every day, till at length | “Humphry Clinker," pronounces a similar judgment in coarser larguage. “Since Gran-ally fearless, Pelham constitutionally timid. ville was turned out, there has been no minis- Walpole had to face a strong opposition ; but ter in this nation worth the meal that whitened no man in the government durst wag a finger his periwig."
against him. Almost all the opposition which He fell, and the reign of the Pelhams com- Pelham had, was from members of the governmenced. It was Carteret's misfortune to be ment of which he was the head. His own raised to power when the public mind was paymaster spoke against his estimates. His still smarting from recent disappointment. own secretary at war spoke against his ReThe nation had been duped, and was eager gency Bill. In one day Walpole turned Lord for revenge. A victim was necessary; and Chesterfield, Lord Burlington, and Lord Clinon such occasions, the victims of popular ton out of the royal household, dismissed the rage are selected like the victim of Jephthah. highest dignitaries of Scotland from their posts, The first person who comes in the way is and took away the regiments of the Duke of made the sacrifice. The wrath of the people Bolton and Lord Cobham, because he sushad now spent itself, and the unnatural excite-pected them of having encouraged the resistment was succeeded by an unnatural calm. ance to his Excise Bill. He would far rather To an irrational eagerness for something new, have contended with a strong minority, under succeeded an equally irrational disposition to able leaders, than have tolerated mutiny in his acquiesce in every thing established. A few own party. It would have gone hard with any months back the people had been disposed to of his colleagues who had ventured to divide impute every crime to men in power, and to the House of Commons against him. Pelham, lend a ready ear to the high professions of on the other hand, was disposed to bear any men in opposition; they were now disposed to thing rather than to drive from office any man surrender themselves implicitly to the manage- round whom a new opposition could form. ment of ministers, and to look with suspicion He therefore endured with fretful patience the and contempt on all who pretended to public insubordination of Pitt and Fox. "He thought spirit. The name of patriot had become a it far better to connive at their occasional inbyword of derision. Horace Walpole scarcely fractions of discipline, than to hear them, night exaggerated, when he said, that in those times, after night, thundering against corruption and the most popular declaration which a candi- wicked ministers from the other side of the date could make on the hustings, was, that he House. had never been and never would be a patriot. We wonder that Sir Walter Scott never tried At this juncture took place the rebellion of the his hand on the Duke of Newcastle. An interHighland clans. The alarm produced by that view between his Grace and Jeanie Deans event quieted the strife of internal factions. would have been delightful, and by no means The suppression of the insurrection crushed unnatural. There is scarcely any public man forever the spirit of the Jacobite party. Room in our history of whose manners and converwas made in the government for a few Tories. sation so many particulars have been prePeace was patched up with France and Spain. served. Single stories may be unfounded or Death removed the Prince of Wales, who had exaggerated. But all the stories, whether told contrived to keep together a small portion of by people who were perpetually seeing him in that formidable opposition, of which he had Parliament and attending his levee in Linbeen the leader in the time of Sir Robert Wal- coln's Inn Fields, or by Grub street writers pole. Almost every man of weight in the who never had more than a glimpse of his House of Commons was officially connected star through the windows of his gilded coach, with the government. The even tenor of the are of the same character. Horace Walpole session of Parliament was ruffled only by an and Smollett differed in their tastes and opi. occasional harangue from Lord Egmont on nions as much as two human beings could the army estimates. For the first time since differ. They kept quite different society. The the accession of the Stuarts there was no op- one played at cards with countesses and corresposition. This singular good fortune, denied ponded with ambassadors. The other passed to the ablest statesmen-0 Salisbury, to Straf- his life surrounded by a knot of famished ford, to Clarendon, to Walpole-had been re- scribblers. Yet Walpole's Duke and Smollett's served for the Pelhams.
Duke are as like as if they were both írom one Henry Pelham, it is true, was by no means hand. Smollett's Newcastle runs out of his a contemptible person. His understanding dressing-room with his face covered with soapwas that of Walpole on a somewhat smaller suds to embrace the Moorish envoy. Walpole's scale. Though not a brilliant orator, he was, Newcastle pushes his way into the Duke of like his master, a good debater, a good parlia- Grafton's sick-room to kiss the old nobleman's mentary tactician, a good man of business. plasters. No man was ever so unmercifully Like his master, he distinguished himself by satirized. But in truth he was himself a satire the neatness and clearness of his financial ready made. All that the art of the satirist expositions. Here the resemblance ceased. does for other ridiculous men nature had done Their characters were altogether dissimilar. for him. Whatever was absurd about him Walpole was good-humoured, but would have stood out with grotesque prominence from the his way; his spirits were high, and his man- rest of the character. He was a living, movners frank even to coarseness. The temper ing, talking caricature. His gait was a shuiof Peiham was yielding, but peevish; his fling trot; his utterance a rapid stutter; he habits were regular, and his deportment was always in a hurry; he was never in time; sırictly decorous. Walpole was constitution-| he abounded in fulsome caresses and in hysterical tears. JIis oratory resembles that of | is, he will make an ass of you.” It was as Justice Shallow. It was nonsense effervescent dangerous to have any political connection with animal spirits and impertinence. or his with Newcastle as to buy and sell with old ignorance many anecdotes remain, some well Trapbois. He was greedy after power with a authenticated, some probably invented at cof- greediness all his own. He was jealous of all fee-houses, but all exquisitely characteristic. his colleagues, and even of his own brother. “Oh-yes-yes-to be sure-Annapolis must Under the disguise of levity he was false bebe defended—troops must be sent to Annapo yond all example of political falsehood. All lis-Pray, where is Annapolis ?”—“Cape Bre- the able men of his time ridiculed him as a ton an island! wonderful-show it me in the dunce, a driveller, a child who never knew his map. So it is, sure enough. My dear sir, you own mind for an hour together, and he overalways bring us good news. I must go and reached them all round. tell the king that Cape Breton is an island.” If the country had remained at peace, it is
And this man was during nearly thirty years not impossible that this man would have con. secretary of state, and during nearly ten years tinued at the head of affairs, without admitting first lord of the treasury! His large fortune, any other person to a share of his authority, his strong hereditary connection, his great until the throne was filled by a new prince, parliamentary interest, will not alone explain who brought with him new maxims of govern. this extraordinary fact. His success is a sig- ment, new favourites, and a strong will. But nal instance of what may be effected by a man the inauspicious commencement of she Seven who devotes his whole heart and soul without | Years' War brought on a crisis to which Newreserve to one object. He was eaten up by castle was altogether unequal. After a calm of ambition. His love of influence and authority fifteen years the spirit of the nation was again resembled the avarice of the old usurer in the stirred to its inmost depths. In a few days the *Fortunes of Nigel.” It was so intense a pas- whole aspect of the political world was changed. sion that it supplied the place of talents, that But that change is too remarkable an event it inspired even fatuity with cunning. “Have to be discussed at the end of an article already no money dealings with my father,” says Mar- too long. It is probable that we may, at no retha to Lord Glenvarloch; “for, dotard as he mote time, resume the subject.
THACKERAY'S HISTORY OF THE EARL OF
[EDINBURGH REVIEW, 1834.]
Though several years have elapsed sinceral excellence-ihe just man made perfect. the publication of this work, it is still, we be- He was in the right when he attempted to estalieve, a new publication to most of our read blish an inquisition, and to give bounties for
Nor are we surprised at this. The book perjury, in order to get Walpole's head. He is large and the style heavy. The information was in the right when he declared Walpole to which Mr. Thackeray has obtained from the have been an excellent minister. He was in State Paper Office is new, but much of it is to the right when, being in opposition, he mainus very uninteresting. The rest of his narra- tained that no peace ought to be made with tive is very little beiter than Gifford's or Tom Spain, till she should formally renounce the line's Life of the Second Pitt, and tells us little right of search. He was in the right when, or nothing that may not be found quite as well being in office, he silently acquiesced in a told in the “ Parliamentary History,” the “An- treaty by which Spain did not renounce the pual Register," and other works equally com- right of search. When he left the Duke of
Newcastle, when he coalesced with the Duke Almost every mechanical employment, it is of Newcastle ; when he thundered against subsaid, has a tendency to injure some one or sidies, when he lavished subsidies with unexother of the bodily organs of the artisan. Grind- ampled profusion; when he execrated the ers of cutlery die of consumption; weavers are Hanoverian connection ; when he declared siented in their growth; and smiths become that Hanover ought to be as dear to us as blear-eyed. In the same manner almost every Hampshire; he was still invariably speaking intellectual employment has a tendency to pro- the language of a virtuous and enlightened duce some intellectual malady. Biographers, statesman. translators, editors_all, in short, who employ The truth is, that there scareely ever lived a themselves in illustrating the lives or the person who had so little claim to this sort of writings of others, are peculiarly exposed to praise as Pitt. He was undoubtedly a great the Lues Boswelliana, or disease of adiniration. man. But his was not a complete and wellBut we scarcely remember ever to have seen proportioned greatness. The public life of a patient so far gone in this distemper as Mr. Hampden, or of Somers, resembles a regular Thackeray. He is not satisfied with forcing drama, which can be criticised as a whole, and us to confess that Pitt was a great orator, a every scene of which is to be viewed in convigorous minister, an honourable and high- nection with the main action. The public life spirited gentleman. He will have it that all of Pitt, on the other hand, is a rude though virtues and all accomplishments met in his striking piece-a piece abounding in incon. hero. In spite of gods, men, and columns, Pitt gruities-a piece without any unity of plan, must be a poet--a poet capable of producing a but redeemed by some noble passages, the heroic poem of the first order; and we are as- effect of which is increased by the tameness sured that we ougkt to find many charms in or extravagance of what precedes and of what such lines as these:
follows. His opinions were unfixed. His con
duct at some of the most important conjunc“ Midst all the tumults of the warring sphere, My light-charged bark may haply glide;
tures of his life was evidently determined by Sonie gale may wast, some conscious thought shall pride and resentment. He had one fault, which
of all human faults is most rarely found in And the small freight unanxious glide.”
company with true greatness. He was ex. Pite was in the army for a few months in tremely affected. He was an almost solitary time of peace.
Mr. Thackeray accordingly instance of a man of real genius, and of a insists on our confessing that, if the young brave, lofty, and commanding spirit, without cornet had remained in the service, he would simplicity of character. He was an actor in the kave been one of the ablest commanders that closet, an actor at Council, an actor in Parliaever lived. But this is not all. Pitt, it seems, ment; and even in private society he could was not merely a great poet in esse, and a great not lay aside his theatrical tones and attitudes. general in posse, but a finished example of mo- We know that one of the most distinguished
of his partisans often complained that he could A History of the Right Honourable Willium Pitt, Earl never obtain admittance to Lord Chatham's of Chatham, containing his Speeches in Parliament, a considerable portion of his Correspondence when Secretary of room till every thing was ready for the repreState, upon French, Spanish, and American Affairs, never sentation, till the dresses and properties were before published; and an account of the principa! Events all correctly disposed, till the light was thrown and Persons of his l'íme, connected with his Life, Sen- with Rembrandt-like effect on the head of the uments, and Administration. By the Rev. FRANCIS THACKERAY, A.M. 2 vols. 4to. London. 1827., illustrious performer, till the flannels had been