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very easy to repeat with success, because depending much on the circumstances and the humour of the person at the moment. There was, however, one quality that always marked them-they had something inexpressibly odd and wholly unexpected, and they came very easily into play. I remember once on a legal question in Parliament, he was speaking of the Bastard eigne and mulier puisne; he said, "the child after marriage, whom the law in its wisdom is pleased to call the mulier, and might as well have called the ostrich." I never saw the lawyers present more merry, except perhaps when Windham in his admirable and unreported speech on the Walcheren inquiry, said, "Talk of a coup de main in the Scheldt! You might as well talk of a coup de main in the Court of Chancery!" At that moment the Master of the Rolls (Sir William Grant) entered, and took his seat, looking as grave as usual. But the gravity lasted not long; the shot told on him, and he rolled about on his bench almost convulsed with laughter. The speech was unreported, because Windham had offended the gentlemen of the press, whom a Judge once called our Lord the King of the Press. He had on a recent occasion of some complaint about misreporting, dared to say that he only wished they would let him alone and not report him at all. They took him at his word dur ing the greater part of the session.
But to return from my ramble, alas, the only one I can now enjoy since our Welsh tours of little work and much play have been abolished. I remember once when some one said that he had seen a brother of Leech's (then Vice-Chancellor), and that his way of speaking and his whole ways, were so like those of his Honour, that the manner seemed to run in the family; Plunket, who was present, said, "I should have just as soon expected to see a wooden leg run in a family." It was this perfect appropriateness, and at the same time perfect unexpectedness, that gave such point to
his jests, as well as to his more severe illustrations. Natural without being obvious, the description somewhere given of fine writing, peculiarly applies to him; so does that other description, right words in right places, apply to his style, which is quite perfect.
I forget whether it was Plunket or Grattan, who said of Lord Clare, the famous Chancellor, that he was a dangerous man to run away from. But I have often recollected the sentiment as well as the phrase, and thought how much it applied to the Irish men of loud valour. Lord Clare, formerly Fitz-Gibbon, was a very able man and a good and even powerful advocate, but little of a lawyer. As a minister in difficult times he showed great firmness and vigour. I remember Grattan (who had fought a duel with him) thus spoke in his usual picturesque language and yet drawling tones:
"Clare was an honest man, but no friend to Ireland. Foster was a knave, but he would do a job for Ireland!" and one plainly saw that Grattan, from love of Ireland, preferred the knave to the honest man.
Grattan was, we all know, full ready to "go out," as it is technically termed, in Ireland especially; so the Government of the day once deemed it advisable to have "a man" ready for him. A bullying ruffianly fellow was accordingly, in that virtuous Administration, brought into Parliament; and all men were aware his mission was not so much to represent the people as to "take off" the people's favourite. He made an offensive bravo kind of speech, saying, "Whichever way he turned his eyes,-to the north, to the east, to the west, to the south, he viewed with alarm the consequences of Mr. G.'s deeds." "Ay," answered Grattan, "the member has looked all around him, to the north, east, west, and south, and with alarm. Perhaps in the course of his survey he saw the gallows!"
SIR ROBERT WALPOLE.*
THE antagonist whom Lord Chatham first encountered on his entering into public life was the veteran Walpole, who instinctively dreaded him the moment he heard his voice; and having begun by exclaiming, "We must muzzle that terrible Cornet of horse!" either because he found him not to be silenced by promotion, or because he deemed punishment in this case better than blandishment, ended by taking away his commission, and making him an enemy for ever. It was a blunder of the first order: it was of a kind, too, which none less than Walpole were apt to commit: perhaps it was the most injudicious thing, possibly the only very injudicious thing, he ever did; certainly it was an error for which he paid the full penalty before he ceased to lead the House of Commons and govern the country.
Few men ever reached and maintained for so many years the highest station which the citizen of a free state can hold, who have enjoyed more power than Sir Robert Walpole, and have left behind them less just cause of blame, or more monuments of the wisdom and virtue for which his country has to thank him. Of Washington, indeed, if we behold in him a different character, one of a far more exalted description, there is this to be said, both that his imperishable fame rests rather upon the part he bore in the Revolution than on his administration of the Government which he helped to create; and that his unequalled virtue and
*Walpole and Bolingbroke do not belong to the reign of George III. But it is impossible well to understand Lord Chatham without considering Walpole also. However, the great importance of continually holding up Walpole to the admiration of all statesmen, and Bolingbroke, except for his genius, to their reprobation, is the chief ground of inserting this Appendix.
self-denial never could be practised in circumstances which, like those of Walpole, afforded no temptation to ambition, because they gave no means of usurping larger powers than the law bestowed; consequently his case cannot be compared, in any particular, with that of a prime minister under an established monarchical constitution. But Walpole held for many years the reins of government in England under two princes, neither of them born or bred in the country-held them during the troubles of a disputed succession, and held them while European politics were complicated with various embarrassments; and yet he governed at home without any inroads upon public liberty; he administered the ordinary powers of the constitution without requiring the dangerous help of extreme temporary rigour; he preserved tranquillity at home without pressing upon the people; and he maintained peace abroad without any sacrifice either of the interests or the honour of the country. If no brilliant feats of improvement in our laws or in the condition of the state were attempted;-if no striking evolutions of external policy were executed; at least all was kept safe and quiet in every quarter, and the irrepressible energies of national industry had the fullest scope afforded them during a lengthened season of repose which in those days of "foreign war and domestic levy" was deemed a fortune hardly to be hoped for, and of which the history of the country had never offered any example.
Walpole was a man of an ancient, honourable, and affluent family, one of the first in the county of Norfolk, to whose possessions he succeeded while yet too young for entering into the Church, the profession he was destined to had an elder brother lived. Rescued from that humbler fortune (in which, however, he always said he would have risen to the Primacy), he had well nigh fallen into one more obscure-the life of a country gentleman, in which he might have whiled away his time like his ancestors, between the profession of a sportsman pursued with zeal, and that of a farmer always failing, because always more than half neglected by him who unites in his own person both landlord and tenant. The dangers of the Protestant succession at the close of King William's reign turned his attention
to political matters upon his entrance into Parliament. The death of the Duke of Gloucester, Princess Anne's son, had alarmed both the illustrious prince on the throne and the Whig party in general; the Tories had thrown every obstacle in the way of the Act of Settlement, by which the King was anxiously endeavouring to confirm the freedom he had conquered for his adopted country; they had only introduced it in the hopes of its miscarrying; and the near balance of parties in Parliament, when the Abjuration Oath was carried by a majority of one (188 to 187), evinced too clearly that in the country the decided majority were for the exiled family. It is easy to conceive how greatly the having commenced his public life at such a crisis must have attracted him towards state affairs, and how lasting an impression the momentous question that first engaged his attention must have produced upon his political sentiments in after-life. Soon after came the great question of privilege, the case of the Aylesbury men, arising out of the action of Ashby v. White; and here he, with the other leading Whigs-the Cowpers, the Kings, the Jekyls, the Cavendishes-took a decided part for the general law of the land, against the extravagant doctrines of privilege maintained by the Tories. Sacheverell's trial-a Whig folly, which he privately did all in his power to prevent-completed his devotion to political life; he was one of the managers, and was exposed to his share of the popular odium under which all the promoters of that ill-advised proceeding not unnaturally fell. The Church party were so powerful that the mob was on their side as well as the Queen's Court; and this incident in Whig history, described by Bolingbroke as "having a parson to roast, and burning their hands in the fire," made Walpole dread that fire ever after; for it is not more certain that the share in the Act of Settlement with which he successfully commenced his public life, gave a strong Whig bias to his after-course, than it is certain that the Sacheverell case gave him a constitutional abhorrence of religious controversy, and an invincible repugnance to touch any question that could connect itself with Church or Sectarian clamour. Through his whole life he betrayed
* He seconded the motion of Sir Charles Hedges for extending the oath to ecclesiastical persons. It was carried without a division.