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Shelburne had been dismissed. Conway had sunk into utter insignificance. The Duke of Grafton had fallen into the hands of the Bedfords. The Bedfords had deserted Grenville, had made their peace with the king and the king's friends, and had been admitted to office. Lord North was Chancellor of the Exchequer, and was rising fast in importance. Corsica had been given up to France without a struggle. The disputes with the American colonies had been revived. A general election had taken place. Wilkes had returned from exile, and, outlaw as he was, had been chosen knight of the shire for Middlesex. The multitude was on his side. The court was obstinately bent on ruining him, and was prepared to shake the very foundations of the constitution for the sake of a paltry revenge. The House of Commons, assuming to itself an auhority which of right belongs only to the whole legislature, had declared Wilkes incapable of sitting in Parliament. Nor had it been thought sufficient to keep him out. Another must be brought in. Since the freeholders of Middlesex had obstinately refused to choose a member acceptable to the court, the House had chosen a member for them.
This was not the only instance, perhaps not the most disgraceful instance, of the inveterate malignity of the court. Exasperated by the steady opposition of the Rockingham party, the king's friends had tried to rob a distinguished Whig nobleman of his private estate, and had persisted in their mean wickedness till their own servile majority had revolted from mere disgust and shame. Discontent had spread throughout the nation, and was kept up by stimulants such as had rarely been applied to the public mind. Junius had taken the field, had trampled Sir William Draper in the dust, had wellnigh broken the heart of Blackstone, and had so mangled the reputation of the Duke of Grafton that his grace had become sick of office, and was beginning to look wistfully towards the shades of Euston. Every principle of foreign, domestic, and colonial policy which was dear to the heart of Chatham, had, during the eclipse of his genius, been violated by the government which he had formed.
The remaining years of his life were spent in vainly struggling against that fatal policy which, at the moment when he might have given it a death-blow, he had been induced to take under his protection. His exertions redeemed his own fame, but they effected little for his country.
Nation, was too much for their patience. Burke undertook to defend and avenge his friends, and executed the task with admirable skill and vigour. On every point he was victorious, and nowhere more completely victorious than when he joined issue on those dry and minute questions of statistical and financial detail in which the main strength of Grenville lay. The official drudge, even on his own chosen ground, was utterly unable to maintain the fight against the great orator and philosopher. When Chatham reappeared, Grenville was still writhing with the recent shame and smart of this well-merited chastisement. Cordial co-operation between the two sections of the opposition was impossible. Nor could Chatham easily connect himself with either. His feelings, in spite of many affronts given and received, drew him towards the Grenvilles. For he had strong domestic affections; and his nature, which, though haughty, was by no means obdurate, had been softened by affliction. But from his kinsmen he was separated by a wide difference of opinion on the question of colonial taxation. A reconciliation, however, took place. He visited Stowe: he shook hands with George Grenville; and the Whig freeholders of Buckinghamshire, at their public dinners, drank many bumpers to the union of the three brothers.
In opinions, Chatham was much nearer to the Rockinghams than to his own relatives. But between him and the Rockinghams there was a gulf not easily to be passed. He had deeply injured them, and, in injuring them, had deeply injured his country. When the balance was trembling between them and the court, he had thrown the whole weight of his genius, of his renown, of his popularity, into the scale of misgovernment. It must be added, that many eminent members of the party still retained a bitter recollection of the asperity and disdain with which they had been treated by him at the time when he assumed the direction of affairs. It is clear from Burke's pamphlets and speeches, and still more clear from his private letters, and from the language which he held in conversation, that he long regarded Chatham with a feeling not far removed from dislike. Chatham was undoubtedly conscious of his error, and desirous to atone for it. But his overtures of friendship, though made with earnestness, and even with unwonted humility, were at first received by Lord Rockingham with cold and austere reserve. Gradually the intercourse of the two statesmen became courteous and even ami. cable. But the past was never wholly for
Chatham did not, however, stand alone Round him gathered a party, small in number, but strong in great and various talents. Lord Camden, Lord Shelburne, Colonel Barré, and Dunning, afterwards Lord Ashburton, were the principal members of this connection.
He found two parties arrayed against the government, the party of his own brothers-in-gotten. law, the Grenvilles, and the party of Lord Rockingham. On the question of the Middlesex election these parties were agreed. But on many other important questions they differed widely; and they were, in truth, not less hostile to each other than to the court. The Grenvilles had, during several years, annoyed the Rockinghams with a succession of acrimonious pamphlets. It was long before the Rockinghams could be induced to retaliate. But an ill-natured tract, written under Grenville's direction, and entitled a State of the VOL. V.-93
There is no reason to believe that, from this time till within a few weeks of Chatham's death, his intellect suffered any decay. His eloquence was almost to the last heard with delight. But it was not exactly the eloquence of the House of Lords. That lofty and pas3 Q2
sionate, but somewhat desultory declamation | dangerous situation. But their paths now diin which he excelled all men, and which was verged. Lord Rockingham thought, and, as set off by .ooks, tones, and gestures, worthy of the event proved, thought most justly, that the Garrick or Talma, was out of place in a small revolted colonies were separated from the emapartment where the audience often consisted pire for ever, and that the only effect of proof three or four drowsy prelates, three or four longing the war on the American continent oid judges, accustomed during many years to would be to divide resources which it was dedisregard rhetoric, and to look only at facts sirable to concentrate. If the hopeless attempt and arguments, and three or four listless and to subjugate Pennsylvania and Virginia were supercilious men of fashion, whom any thing abandoned, war against the house of Bourbon like enthusiasm moved to a sneer. In the might possibly be avoided, or, if inevitable, House of Commons, a flash of his eye, a wave might be carried on with success and glory. of his arm, had sometimes cowed Murray. But, We might even indemnify ourselves for part in the House of Peers, his utmost vehemence of what we had lost, at the expense of those and pathos produced less effect than the mo- foreign enemies who had hoped to profit by deration, the reasonableness, the luminous our domestic dissensions. Lord Rockingham, order, and the serene dignity, which character- therefore, and those who acted with him, conized the speeches of Lord Mansfield. ceived that the wisest course now open to England, was to acknowledge the independ ence of the United States, and to turn her whole force against her European enemies.
On the question of the Middlesex election, all the three divisions of the opposition acted in concert. No orator in either House defended what is now universally admitted to have been the constitutional cause with more ardour or eloquence than Chatham. Before this subject had ceased to occupy the public mind, George Grenville died. His party rapidly melted away; and in a short time most of his adherents appeared on the ministerial benches.
Chatham, it should seem, ought to have taken the same side. Before France had taken any part in our quarrel with the colonies, he had repeatedly, and with great energy of language, declared that it was impossible to conquer America; and he could not without absurdity maintain that it was easier to conquer France and America together than Had George Grenville lived many months America alone. But his passions overpowered longer, the friendly ties which, after years of his judgment, and made him blind to his own estrangement and hostility, had been renewed inconsistency. The very circumstances which between him and his brother-in-law, would, in made the separation of the colonies inevitable, all probability, have been a second time vio- made it to him altogether insupportable. The lently dissolved. For now the quarrel between dismemberment of the empire seemed to him England and the North American colonies less ruinous and humiliating, when produced took a gloomy and terrible aspect. Oppres- by domestic dissensions, than when produced sion provoked resistance; resistance was by foreign interference. His blood boiled at made the pretext for fresh oppression. The the degradation of his country. Whatever warnings of all the greatest statesmen of the lowered her among the nations of the earth, he age were lost on an imperious court and a de- felt as a personal outrage to himself. And the luded nation. Soon a colonial senate con- feeling was natural. He had made her so fronted the British Parliament. Then the great. He had been so proud of her; and she colonial militia crossed bayonets with the Bri- had been so proud of him. He remembered tish regiments. At length the commonwealth how, more than twenty years before, in a day was torn asunder. Two millions of English- of gloom and dismay, when her possessions men, who, fifteen years before, had been as were torn from her, when her flag was dis loyal to their prince and as proud of their honoured, she had called on him to save her. country as the people of Kent or Yorkshire, He remembered the sudden and glorious separated themselves by a solemn act from the change which his energy had wrought, the empire. For a time it seemed that the insur-long series of triumphs, the days of thanksgents would struggle to small purpose against the vast financial and military means of the mother country. But disasters, following one another in rapid succession, rapidly dispelled the illusions of national vanity. At length a great British force, exhausted, famished, harassed on every side by a hostile peasantry, was compelled to deliver up its arms. Those governments which England had, in the late war, so signally humbled, and which had during many years been sullenly brooding over the recollections of Quebec, of Minden, and of the Moro, now saw with exultation that the day of revenge was at hand. France recogmised the independence of the United States; and there could be little doubt that the example would soon be followed by Spain.
Chatham and Rockingham had cordially concurred in opposing every part of the fatal policy which had brought the state into this
giving, the nights of illumination. Fired by such recollections, he determined to separate himself from those who advised that the independence of the colonies should be acknowledged. That he was in error, will scarcely, we think, be disputed by his warmest admirers. Indeed, the treaty by which, a few years later, the republic of the United States was recognised, was the work of his most attached adherents and of his favourite son.
The Duke of Richmond had given notice of an address to the throne, against the further prosecution of hostilities with America. Chatham had, during some time, absented himself from Parliament, in consequenee of his growing infirmities. He determined to appear in his place on this occasion, and to declare that his opinions were decidedly at variance with those of the Rockingham party. He was in a state of great excitement. His medical at.
tendants were uneasy, and strongly advised him to calm himself, and to remain at home. But he was not to be controlled. His son William, and his son-in-law Lord Mahon, accompanied him to Westminster. He rested himself in the chancellor's room till the debate commenced, and then, leaning on his two young relations, limped to his seat. The slightest particulars of that day were remembered, and have been carefully recorded. He bowed, it was remarked, with great courtliness to those peers who rose to make way for him and his supporters. His crutch was in his hand. He wore, as was his fashion, a rich velvet coat. His legs were swathed in flannel. His wig was so large, and his face so emaciated, that none of his features could be discerned except the high curve of nose, and his eyes, which still retained a gleam of the old fire.
by the opposition. But death at once restored him to his old place in the affection of his country. Who could hear unmoved of the fall of that which had been so great, and which had stood so long? The circumstances, too, seemed rather to belong to the tragic stage than to real life. A great statesman, full of years and honours, led forth to the senate-house by a son of rare hopes, and stricken down in full council while straining his feeble voice to rouse the drooping spirit of his country, could not but be remembered with peculiar veneration and tenderness. Detraction was overawed. The voice even of just and temperate censure was mute. Nothing was remembered but the lofty genius, the unsullied probity, the undisputed services, of him who was no more. For once, all parties were agreed. A public funeral, a public monument, were eagerly voted. The debts of the deceased were paid. A provision was made for his family. The city of London requested that the remains of the great man whom she had so long loved and honoured might rest under the dome of her magnificent cathedral. But the petition came too late. Every thing was already prepared for the interment in Westminster Abbey.
season as dark and perilous, his own shattered frame and broken heart were laid, with the same pomp, in the same consecrated mould.
When the Duke of Richmond had spoken, Chatham rose. For some time his voice was inaudible. At length his tones became distinct and his action animated. Here and there his hearers caught a thought or an expression which reminded them of William Pitt. But it was clear that he was not himself. He lost the thread of his discourse, hesitated, repeated the same words several times, and was so confused, Though men of all parties had concurred in that in speaking of the Act of Settlement he decreeing posthumous honours to Chatham, could not recall the name of the Electress So- his corpse was attended to the grave almost phia. The House listened in solemn silence, exclusively by opponents of the government. and with the aspect of profound respect and The banner of the lordship of Chatham was compassion. The stillness was so deep that borne by Colonel Barré, attended by the Duke the dropping of a handkerchief would have of Richmond and Lord Rockingham. Burke, Sabeen heard. The Duke of Richmond replied vile, and Dunning upheld the pall. Lord Camden with great tenderness and courtesy; but, while was conspicuous in the procession. The chief he spoke, the old man was observed to be rest- mourner was young William Pitt. After the less and irritable. The duke sat down. Chat-lapse of more than twenty-seven years, in a ham stood up again, pressed his hand on his breast, and sank down in an apoplectic fit. Three or four lords who sat near him caught him in his fall. The House broke up in confusion. The dying man was carried to the residence of one of the officers of Parliament, and was so far restored as to be able to bear a journey to Hayes. At Hayes, after lingering a few weeks, he expired in his seventieth year. His bed was watched to the last, with anxious tenderness, by his wife and children; and he well deserved their care. Too often haughty and wayward to others, to them he had been almost effeminately kind. He had through life been dreaded by his political opponents, and regarded with more awe than love even by his political associates. But no fear seems to have mingled with the affection which his fondness, constantly overflowing in a thousand endearing forms, had inspired in the little circle at Hayes. Chatham, at the time of his decease, had not, in both Houses of Parliament, ten personal adherents. Half the public men of the age had been estranged from him by his errors, and the other half by the exertions which he had made to repair his errors. His last speech had been an attack at once on the policy pursued by the government, and on the policy recommended
Chatham sleeps near the northern door of the church, in a spot which has ever since been appropriated to statesmen, as the other end of the same transept has long been to poets. Mansfield rests there, and the second William Pitt, and Fox, and Grattan, and Canning, and Wilberforce. In no other Cemetery do so many great citizens lie within so narrow a space. High over those venerable graves towers the stately monument of Chatham, and from above, his own effigy, graven by a cunning hand, seems still, with eagle face and outstretched arm, to bid England be of good cheer, and to hurl defiance at her foes. The generation which reared that memorial of him has disappeared. The time has come when the rash and indiscriminate judgments which his contemporaries passed on his character may be calmly revised by history. And history while, for the warning of vehement, high, and daring natures, she notes his many errors, will yet deliberately pronounce, that, among the eminent men whose bones lie near his, scarcely one has left a more stainless, and none a more splendid name.
ON HIS INSTALLATION AS LORD RECTOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW.
[MARCH 21, 1849.]
My first duty, gentlemen, is to return you my thanks for the high honour you have conferred on me. That honour, as you well know, was wholly unsolicited, and I can assure you it was wholly unexpected. I may add, that if I had been invited to become a candidate for your suffrages, I should have respectfully declined the invitation. My predecessor, whom I am so happy as to be able to call my frienddeclared from this place last year, in language which well became him, that he would not have come forward to displace so eminent a statesman as Lord John Russel. I can with equal truth declare that I would not have come forward to displace so estimable a gentleman and so accomplished a man as Colonel Mure. But he felt last year that it was not for him, and I feel this year that it is not for me, to question the propriety of your decision, in a point on which, by the constitution of your body, you are the sole judges. I therefore accept with thankfulness the office to which I am called, fully purposing to use whatever powers belong to it with the single view of the promotion of the credit and the welfare of this university.
a corporate existence and a perpetual succes sion, should review its annals, should retrace the stages of its growth, from infancy to ma turity, and should try to find in the experience of generations which have passed away, lessons which may be profitable to generations yet unborn. The retrospect is full of interest and instruction.
Perhaps it may be doubted whether, since the Christian era, there has been any point of time more important to the highest interestą of mankind, than that at which the existence of your university commenced. It was the moment of a great destruction and of a great creation. Your society was instituted just before the empire of the east perished-that strange empire, which, dragging on a languid life through the great age of darkness, connected together the two great ages of light— that empire which, adding nothing to our stores of knowledge, and producing not one man great in letters, in science, or in art, yet preserved, in the midst of barbarism, those master-pieces of Attic genius which the highest minds still contemplate, and long will contemplate, with I am not using a mere phrase, of course, admiring despair; and, at that very time, when I say that the feelings with which I bear while the fanatical Moslem were plundering the a part in the ceremony of this day, are such churches and palaces of Constantinople, breakas I find it difficult to utter in words. I do not ing in pieces Grecian sculpture, and giving to think it strange, that when that great master the flames piles of Grecian eloquence, a few of eloquence, Edmund Burke, stood where I humble German artisans, who little knew that now stand, he faltered and remained mute. they were calling into existence a power far Doubtless the multitude of thoughts which mightier than that of the victorious sultan, rushed into his mind were such as even he were busied in cutting and setting the first could not easily arrange or express. In truth, types. The University came into existence just there are few spectacles more striking or affect-in time to see the last trace of the Roman ing, than that which a great historical place empire disappear, and to see the earliest printed of education presents on a solemn public day. book. There is something strangely interesting in At this conjuncture-a conjuncture of unthe contrast between the venerable antiquity | rivalled interest in the history of letters-a of the body and the fresh and ardent youth of man never to be mentioned without reverence the great majority of the members. Recollec- by every lover of letters, held the highest tions and hopes crowd upon us together. The place in Europe. Our just attachment to that past and the future are at once brought close Protestant faith to which our country owes so Our thoughts wander back to the time much, must not prevent us from paying the when the foundations of this ancient building tribute which, on this occasion and in this were laid, and forward to the time when those place, justice and gratitude demand to the whom it is our office to guide and to teach will founder of the University of Glasgow,_the be the guides and teachers of our posterity. greatest of the revivers of learning, Pope On the present occasion we may, with peculiar Nicholas the Fifth. He had sprung from the propriety, give such thoughts their course. common people; but his abilities and his eruFor it has chanced that my magistracy has dition had early attracted the notice of the fallen in a great secular epoch. This is the great. He had studied much and travelled far. four hundredth year of the existence of your He had visited Great Britain, which, in wealth university. At such jubilees as these-jubilees and refinement, was to his native Tuscany what of which no individual sees more than one-it the back settlements of American now are to is natural, it is good, that a society like this-Britain. He had lived with the merchant
a society which survives all the transitory parts princes of Florence, those men who first enof which it is composed-a society which has nobled trade by making trade the ally of phi
losophy, of eloquence, and of taste. It was by civil and spiritual freedom, to turn sterile he who, under the protection of the munificent rocks and pestilental marshes into cities and and discerning Cosmo, arrayed the first public gardens. Enlightened as your founder was, library that modern Europe possessed. From he little knew that he was himself a chief agent privacy your founder rose to a throne; but on in a great revolution-physical and moral, pothe throne he never forgot the studies which litical and religious-in a revolution destined had been his delight in privacy. He was the to make the last first, and the first last-in a centre of an illustrious group, composed partly revolution destined to invert the relative posiof the last great scholars of Greece, and partly tions of Glasgow and Bologna. We cannot, I of the first great scholars of Italy, Theodore think, better employ a few minutes than in reGaza and George of Trebizond, Bessarin and viewing the stages of this great change in Tilelfo, Marsilio Ficino and Poggio Bracciolini. human affairs. The review shall be short. By him was founded the Vatican library, then Indeed, I cannot do better than pass rapidly and long after the most precious and the most from century to century. Look at the world, extensive collection of books in the world. By then, a hundred years after the seal of Nicholas him were carefully preserved the most valuable had been affixed to the instrument which called intellectual treasures which had been snatched your college into existence. We find Europefrom the wreck of the Byzantine empire. His we find Scotland especially, in the agonies of agents were to be found everywhere-in the that great revolution which we emphatically bazaars of the farthest East, in the monasteries call the Reformation. of the farthest West-purchasing or copying worm-eaten parchments, on which were traced words worthy of immortality. Under his patronage were prepared accurate Latin versions of many precious remains of Greek poets and philosophers. But no department of literature owes so much to him as history. By him were introduced to the knowledge of Western Europe, two great and unrivalled models of historical composition, the work of Herodotus and the work of Thucydides. By him, too, our ancestors were first made acquainted with the graceful and lucid simplicity of Xenophon, and with the manly good sense of Polybius.
The liberal patronage which Nicholas, and men like Nicholas, had given to learning, and of which the establishment of this seat of learning is not the least remarkable instance, had produced an effect which they had never contemplated. Ignorance was the talisman on which their power depended, and that talisman they had themselves broken. They had called in knowledge as a handmaid to decorate superstition, and their error produced its natural effect. I need not tell you what a part the votaries of classical learning, and especially of Greek learning, the Humanists, as they were then called, bore in the great movement against spiritual tyranny. In the Scotch University, I need hardly mention the names of Knox, of Buchanan, of Melville, of Maitland, of Lethington. They formed, in fact, the vangaard of that movement. Every one of the chief reformers-I do not at this moment remember a single exception-was a Humanist. eminent Humanist in the north of Europe was, according to the measure of his uprightness and courage, a reformer. In truth, minds daily nourished with the best literature of Greece and Rome, necessarily grew too strong to be trammelled by the cobwebs of the scholastic divinity; and the influence of such minds was now rapidly felt by the whole community; for the invention of printing had brought books within the reach even of yeomen and of artisans.
It was while he was occupied with cares like these that his attention was called to the intellectual wants of this region-a region now swarming with population, rich with culture, and resounding with the clang of machinerya region which now sends forth fleets laden with its admirable fabrics to lands of which, in his days, no geographer had ever heard then a wild, a poor, a half-barbarous tract, lying in the utmost verge of the known world. He gave his sanction to the plan of establishing a University at Glasgow, and bestowed on the new seat of learning all the privileges which belonged to the University of Bologna. I can conceive that a pitying smile passed over his face as he named Bologna and Glasgow together. At Bologna he had long studied. No spot in the world has been more favoured by nature or by art. The surrounding country was a fruitful From the Mediterranean to the Frozen Sea, and sunny country, a country of corn-fields and therefore, the public mind was everywhere in vineyards. In the city the house of Bentivoglio a ferment, and nowhere was the ferment greater bore rule-a house which vied with the Medici than in Scotland. It was in the midst of marin taste and magnificence-which has left to tyrdoms and proscriptions, in the midst of a posterity noble palaces and temples, and which war between power and truth, that the first gave a splendid patronage to arts and sciences. century of the existence of your University Glasgow he knew to be a poor, a small, a closed. Pass another hundred years, and we rude town, and, as he would have thought, not are in the midst of another revolution. The likely ever to be otherwise; for the soil, com- war between Popery and Protestantism had, in pared with the rich country at the foot of the this island, been terminated by the victory of Apennines, was barren, and the climate was Protestantism. But from that war another such that an Italian shuddered at the thought war had sprung-the war between Prelacy and of it. But it is not on the fertility of the soil-Puritanism. The hostile religious sects were it is not on the mildness of the atmosphere that the prosperity of nations chiefly depends. Slavery and superstition can make Campania a land of beggars, and can change the plain of Enna into a desert. Nor is it beyond the power of human intelligence and energy, developed
allied, intermingled, confounded with hostile political parties. The monarchical element of the constitution was an object of almost exclusive devotion to the prelatist. The popular element of the constitution was especially dear to the Puritan. At length an appeal was made