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rery 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 cate, that, if he had left lyric composition to Gray and Collins, and had employed his pow ers in grave and elevated satire, he might have disputed the pre-eminence of Dryden. But whatever be the literary merits of the epistle, we can say nothing in praise of the political doctrines which it inculcates. The poet, in a rapturous apostrophe to the Spirits of the Great Men of Antiquity, tells us what he expected from Pulteney at the moment of the fall of the tyrant.
"See private life by wisest arts reclaimed,
It was Pulteney's business, it seems, to abolish faro and masquerades, to stint the young Duke of Marlborough to a bottle of brandy a day, and to prevail on Lady Vane to be content with three lovers at a time.
Whatever the people wanted, they certainly got nothing. Walpole retired in safety, and the multitude were defrauded of the expected show on Tower Hill. The Septennial Act was not repealed. The placemen were not turned out of the House of Commons. Wool, we believe, was still exported. "Private life" afforded as much scandal as if the reign of Walpole and corruption had continued; and "ardent youth" fought with watchmen, and betted with blacklegs as much as ever.
The other schemes, of which the public mind was full, were less dangerous than this. Some of them were in themselves harmless. But none of them would have done much good, and most of them were extravagantly absurd. What they were we may learn from the instructions which many constituent bodies, immediately after the change of administration, sent up to their representatives. A more deplorable collection of follies can hardly be imagined. There is, in the first place, a general cry for Walpole's head. Then there are bitter complaints of the decay of trade-decay which, in the judgment of those enlightened politicians, was all brought about by Walpole and corruption. They would have been nearer to the truth, if they had attributed their sufferings to the war into which they had driven Walpole against his better judgment. He had foretold the effects of his unwilling concession. On the day when hostilities against Spain were proclaimed, when the heralds were attended into the city by the chiefs of the opposition, when the Prince of Wales himself stopped at Temple-Bar to drink success to the English arms, the minister heard all the steeples of the city jingling with a merry pea!, and muttered: "They may ring the bells now: they will be wringing their hands before long." Another grievance, for which of cours? Walpole and corruption were answerable, was the great exportation of English wool. In the judgment of the sagacious electors of several The colleagues of Walpole had, after his re large 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. as the Parliament. The repeal of the Septen- public man had such profound and extensive nial Act, as was to be expected, was strongly learning. He was familiar with the ancient ressed. Nothing was more natural than that writers. His knowledge of modern languages ine 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 intri should 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 ever, 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 forbeen, 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 fact) safe and entire. The late Earl of Granville was pleased to declare himself of this opinion; especially when he found that I had made Chemnitius one of my principal guides;
We will give one more instance of the absard expectations which the declamations of the opposition had raised in the country. Akenside was one of the fiercest and most
for his lordship was apprehensive I might not have seen that valuable and authentic book, which is extremely scarce. I thought myself happy to have contented his lordship even in the lowest degree: for he understood the German and Swedish histories to the highest perfection."
With all this learning, Carteret was far from being a pedant. He was not one of those cold spirits, of which the fire is put out by the fuel. In council, in debate, in society, he was all life and energy. His measures were strong, prompt, and daring; his oratory animated and glowing. His spirits were constantly high. No misfortune, public or private, could depress him. He was at once the most unlucky and the happiest public man of his time.
He had been Secretary of State in Walpole's administration, and had acquired considerabie influence over the mind of George the First. The other ministers could speak no German. The king could speak no English. All the communication that Walpole held with his master was in very bad Latin. Carteret dismayed his colleagues by the volubility with which he addressed his majesty in German. They listened with envy and terror to the mysterious gutturals, which might possibly convey suggestions very little in unison with their wishes.
they were at the head of a decided majority in
That a rash and impetuous man of genius like Carteret should not have been able to maintain his ground in Parliament against the crafty and selfish Pelhams, is not strange. But it is less easy to understand why he should have been generally unpopular throughout the country. His brilliant talents, his bold and open temper, ought, it should seem, to have made him a favourite with the public. But the people had been bitterly disappointed; and he had to face the first burst of their rage His close connection with Pulteney, now the most detested man in the nation, was an unfortunate circumstance. He had, indeed, only three partisans, Pulteney, the King, and the Prince of Wales-a most singular assem blage.
He was driven from his office. He shortly after made a bold, indeed a desperate attempt to recover power. The attempt failed. From that time he relinquished all ambitious hopes: and retired laughing to his books and his bot tle. No statesman ever enjoyed success with so exquisite a zest, or submitted to a defeat with so genuine and unforced a cheerfulness. Ill as he had been used, he did not seem, says Horace Walpole, to have any resentment, or indeed any feeling except thirst.
Walpole was not a man to endure such a colleague as Carteret. The king was induced to give up his favourite. Carteret joined the opposition, and signalized himself at the head of that party, till, after the retirement of his old rival, he again became Secretary of State. Daring some months he was chief minister, indeed sole minister. He gained the confidence and regard of George the Second. He was at the same time in high favour with the Prince of Wales. As a debater in the House of Lords, he had no equal among his colleagues. Among his opponents, Chesterfield alone could be considered as his match. Confident in his talents and in the royal favour, he neglected all those means by which the power of Walpole had been created and maintained. His head was full of treaties and expeditions, of schemes for supporting the Queen of Hun- These letters 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 Chief Justice, "that people who want places and benefices will go to those who have more leisure." The prediction was accomplished. It would have been a busy time indeed in which the Pelhams had wanted leisure for jobbing; and to the Pelhams the whole cry of place-hunters and pension-hunters resorted. The parliamentary influence of the two brothers becare stronger every day, till at length
bitterly of Carteret than of any public man of that time, Fox, perhaps, excepted; and this is the more remarkable, because Carteret was one of the most inveterate enemies of Sir Robert. In the "Memoirs," Horace Walpole, after passing in review all the great men whom England had produced within his me mory, concludes by saying, that in genius none of them equalled Lord Granville. Smoller, .a "Humphry Clinker," pronounces a similar
judgment in coarser language. "Since Granville was turned out, there has been no minister in this nation worth the meal that whitened his periwig."
ally fearless, Pelham constitutionally timid Walpole had to face a strong opposition; bat no man in the government durst wag a finger against him. Almost all the opposition which Pelham had, was from members of the govern ment of which he was the head. His own paymaster spoke against his estimates. His own secretary at war spoke against his Re gency Bill. In one day Walpole turned Lord Chesterfield, Lord Burlington, and Lord Clinton out of the royal household, dismissed the
He fell; and the reign of the Pelhams commenced. It was Carteret's misfortune to be raised to power when the public mind was still smarting from recent disappointment. The nation had been duped, and was eager for revenge. A victim was necessary; and on such occasions, the victims of popular 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 resist ment 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 inby word 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. At this juncture took place the rebellion of the Highland clans. The alarm produced by that event quieted the strife of internal factions. The suppression of the insurrection crushed forever the spirit of the Jacobite party. Room was made in the government for a few Tories. Peace was patched up with France and Spain. Death removed the Prince of Wales, who had contrived to keep together a small portion of that formidable opposition, of which he had been 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 opioccasional 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 scciety. 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-to 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.
We wonder that Sir Walter Scott never tried his hand on the Duke of Newcastle. An interview between his Grace and Jeanie Deans would have been delightful, and by no means unnatural. There is scarcely any public man in our history of whose manners and conversation so many particulars have been preserved. Single stories may be unfounded or exaggerated. But all the stories, whether told by people who were perpetually seeing him in Parliament and attending his levee in Lin
Duke are as like as if they were both from 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 soap was 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'a 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 tempering, talking caricature. His gait was a shufof 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; strictly decorous. Walpole was constitution- he abounded in fulsome caresses and in hys
terical tears. Jis oratory resembles that of Justice Shallow. It was nonsense effervescent with animal spirits and impertinence. Of his ignorance many anecdotes remain, some well authenticated, some probably invented at cof fee-houses, but all exquisitely characteristic. "Oh-yes-yes-to be sure-Annapolis must be defended-troops must be sent to Annapolis-Pray, where is Annapolis?""-"Cape Breton an island! wonderful-show it me in the map. So it is, sure enough. My dear sir, you always bring us good news. I must go and tell the king that Cape Breton is an island." And this man was during nearly thirty years secretary of state, and during nearly ten years first lord of the treasury! His large fortune, his strong hereditary connection, his great parliamentary interest, will not alone explain this extraordinary fact. His success is a signal instance of what may be effected by a man who devotes his whole heart and soul without reserve to one object. He was eaten up by ambition. His love of influence and authority resembled the avarice of the old usurer in the "Fortunes of Nigel." It was so intense a passion that it supplied the place of talents, that it inspired even fatuity with cunning. "Have no money dealings with my father," says Martha to Lord Glenvarloch; "for, dotard as he
is, he will make an ass of you." It was as dangerous to have any political connection with Newcastle as to buy and sell with old Trapbois. He was greedy after power with a greediness all his own. He was jealous of all his colleagues, and even of his own brother. Under the disguise of levity he was false beyond all example of political falsehood. All the able men of his time ridiculed him as a dunce, a driveller, a child who never knew his own mind for an hour together, and he overreached them all round.
If the country had remained at peace, it is not impossible that this man would have continued at the head of affairs, without admitting any other person to a share of his authority, until the throne was filled by a new prince, who brought with him new maxims of govern ment, new favourites, and a strong will. But the inauspicious commencement of the Seven Years' War brought on a crisis to which Newcastle was altogether unequal. After a calm of fifteen years the spirit of the nation was again stirred to its inmost depths. In a few days the whole aspect of the political world was changed.
But that change is too remarkable an event to be discussed at the end of an article already too long. It is probable that we may, at no remote time, resume the subject.
THACKERAY'S HISTORY OF THE EARL OF
[EDINBURGH REVIEW, 1834.]
THOUGH several years have elapsed since ral excellence-the just man made perfect. the publication of this work, it is still, we be- He was in the right when he attempted to esta lieve, a new publication to most of our read-blish an inquisition, and to give bounties for ers. 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 better 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 nual Register," and other works equally com- right of search. When he left the Duke of Newcastle, when he coalesced with the Duke of Newcastle; when he thundered against subsidies, when he lavished subsidies with unexampled profusion; when he execrated the Hanoverian connection; when he declared that Hanover ought to be as dear to us as Hampshire; he was still invariably speaking the language of a virtuous and enlightened statesman.
Almost every mechanical employment, it is said, has a tendency to injure some one or other of the bodily organs of the artisan. Grinders of cutlery die of consumption; weavers are stunted in their growth; and smiths become blear-eyed. In the same manner almost every intellectual employment has a tendency to produce some intellectual malady. Biographers, translators, editors-all, in short, who employ themselves in illustrating the lives or the writings of others, are peculiarly exposed to the Lues Boswelliana, or disease of admiration. But we scarcely remember ever to have seen a patient so far gone in this distemper as Mr. Thackeray. He is not satisfied with forcing us to confess that Pitt was a great orator, a vigorous minister, an honourable and highspirited gentleman. He will have it that all virtues and all accomplishments met in his hero. In spite of gods, men, and columns, Pitt must be a poet-a poet capable of producing a heroic poem of the first order; and we are assured that we ought to find many charms in such lines as these:
"Midst all the tumults of the warring sphere,
My light-charged bark may haply glide;
The truth is, that there scarcely ever lived a person who had so little claim to this sort of praise as Pitt. He was undoubtedly a great man. But his was not a complete and wellproportioned greatness. The public life of Hampden, or of Somers, resembles a regular drama, which can be criticised as a whole, and every scene of which is to be viewed in connection with the main action. The public life of Pitt, on the other hand, is a rude though striking piece-a piece abounding in incongruities-a piece without any unity of plan, but redeemed by some noble passages, the effect of which is increased by the tameness or extravagance of what precedes and of what follows. His opinions were unfixed. His conduct at some of the most important conjunctures of his life was evidently determined by
Bonie gale may waft, some conscious thought shall pride and resentment. He had one fault, which
And the small freight unanxious glide."
Pitt was in the army for a few months in time of peace. Mr. Thackeray accordingly insists on our confessing that, if the young cornet had remained in the service, he would have been one of the ablest commanders that ever lived. But this is not all. Pitt, it seems, was not merely a great poet in esse, and a great general in posse, but a finished example of mo
A History of the Right Honourable William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, containing his Speeches in Parliament, a considerable portion of his Correspondence when Secretary of State, upon French, Spanish, and American Affairs, never before published; and an account of the principal Events and Persons of his Time, connected with his Life, Sentiments, and Administration. By the Rev. FRANCIS THACKERAY, A.M. 2 vols. 4to. London. 1827.
of all human faults is most rarely found in company with true greatness. He was extremely affected. He was an almost solitary instance of a man of real genius, and of a brave, lofty, and commanding spirit, without simplicity of character. He was an actor in the closet, an actor at Council, an actor in Parlia ment; and even in private society he could not lay aside his theatrical tones and attitudes. We know that one of the most distinguished of his partisans often complained that he could never obtain admittance to Lord Chatham's room till every thing was ready for the representation, till the dresses and properties were all correctly disposed, till the light was thrown with Rembrandt-like effect on the head of the illustrious performer, till the flannels had been