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wishes; formidable instruments of domestic or foreign tyranny if they did not entertain them. The liberties of England would not, for half a century, remain proof against the contact and contagion of four millions of opulent and powerful subjects, who disregarded the honour of the state, and felt utterly uninterested in the constitution. In coming forward, then, with this claim of honourable ambition, they at once afford you the best pledge of their sincerity, and the most satisfactory evidence of their title. They claim the benefit of the ancient vital principle of the constitution, namely, that the honours of the state should be open to the talents and the virtues of all its members. Their adversaries invert the order of all civil society. They have made the Catholics an aristocracy, and they would treat them as a mob. They give to the lowest of the rabble, if he is a Protestant, what they refuse to the head of the peerage if he is a Catholic. They shut out my Lord Fingal from the state, and they make his footman a member of it; and this strange confusion of all social order they dignify with the name of the British constitution; and the proposal to consider the best and most conciliatory mode of correcting it, they cry down as a dangerous and presumptuous innovation."
That he was a man of peculiarly strong feelings is certain; how much he suffered from his domestic afflictions, and especially from the death of his brother, the eminent physician, is well known; he was laid aside by it for months. The vehemence of some passages which are preserved, and the tenderness of others, bear testimony to what has just been stated; but of course such are exceedingly rare, especially the pathetic. One is, however, too remarkable to be passed
The warmth of his affection for Mr. Grattan, as well as the deep reverence which he naturally felt for him, well-nigh overpowered him when, in his famous speech of 1821, he was dwelling on the loss which the cause
had sustained by the death of eminent supporters. "But above all," he said, "when I dwell upon that last overwhelming loss-the loss of that great man in whose place I this night unworthily stand, and with the description of whose exalted merits I would not trust myself-God knows I cannot feel any triumph! Walking before the sacred images of these illustrious dead, as in a public and solemn procession, shall we not dismiss all party feeling, all angry passions and unworthy prejudices? I will not talk of triumph; I will not mix in this act of public justice anything that can awaken personal animosity."-The effect which the pathos of this truly noble passage produced, is, by all who heard it, pronounced to baffle description.
Although, upon the genius of the orator, and upon his professional conduct, there can be no diversity of opinion, men, of course, will, according to their different sentiments and prejudices, and especially the party principles which divide them, pronounce different judgments upon his political conduct. That he steadily pursued one course as the friend of civil and religious liberty, is undeniable. The only objection taken to his consistency is grounded on the course which he pursued in 1819, when he gave great offence to the Whig opposition, by supporting the famous Six Acts; and as we most conscientiously believed, upon an erroneous view of the facts, as well as an incorrect estimate of the effects ascribed to the remedies propounded for the mischief, not unjustly apprehended from the state of the country. We also strenuously and unanimously contended against him that the existing law was sufficient to meet the evils complained of, and that it never had been put in force.-It must, however, be confessed, that he erred in company with some of the greatest statesmen of the day, and those most attached to constitutional principles-Lord Grenville and Lord Wellesley; they took the same view both of the evil and the remedy.
We, on the other hand, had to strengthen our convictions, the subsequent evidence of facts; for the restraints upon popular meetings, ceasing by the proviso of the Act, in case of a General Election, the dissolution which followed on the demise of the Crown was attended with none of the dangers to the public peace which had been the ground of the enactments. After, however, the heats of party warfare had cooled, it was admitted that some restraint upon the right of meeting had become necessary for the sake of preserving that valuable privilege to the people. One of the stoutest supporters of our party, and of all liberal principles, Lord Hutchinson, very distinctly stated at the time, that aware of the risks to which this popular right was exposed of being entirely lost through the gross abuse of it, he felt thankful that the restrictions which he deemed necessary for its preservation, had been propounded by the Tory Party, and not by the Whigs.
In 1815, Lord Plunket also differed with his political friends, agreeing, however, with Lord Grenville, upon the question raised by Napoleon's return from Elba. On this occasion, the event decided with him. But he had not, as on the other question, four years later, the satisfaction of agreeing with Lord Wellesley. That great and experienced statesman held the renewal of the war to be without justification, taking into account the change in Napoleon's character, as well as in the circumstances both of France and of the other European powers; an opinion which, supported though it be by many plausible arguments, is at this day not a little difficult to maintain.
Of Lord Plunket's judicial character, they who have attended to the proceedings upon appeal in the House of Lords, have always formed a favourable estimate; and when he was, by a strange and inexplicable transaction, thrust out of his high office, the pretext alleged, that his judicial conduct betrayed indications of declin
ing vigour, was triumphantly exposed, and shown to have not the shadow of foundation, by an examination of his decrees, and of the reception they met with before the Court of Appellate Jurisdiction.
Of that transaction it would be difficult to speak in terms of adequate reprobation. It is to be placed among the most signal acts of political ingratitude and injustice which the annals of the profession and of party present to warn lawyers against putting their trust in princes, and the ministers of princes.
It only remains to add, that no act of his after-life, nor any speech, nor indeed any private complaint proceeding from him, ever showed that he felt, what he had ample right to feel and to express, his sense of the treatment which he had received.
DUKE OF WELLINGTON.
HIGH among the statesmen of England stands her greatest captain. That we may, without fear of falling into error, acknowledge this title, notwithstanding the just fame of Marlborough, seems manifest from the much greater variety in the circumstances of the wars which he carried on, and from the incomparably greater difficulties with which he had to contend. Compared with the obstructions created by the Portuguese Government, and the Spanish Cortes, the Spanish people, and their armies, and their commanders, the trouble given by the Dutch Field Deputies, and the German allies, sink into insignificance, even if we do not set against Marlborough's difficulties the inestimable advantage of Prince Eugene's powerful and able co-operation; while all the opposition which the factions at home raised was as nothing compared to the want of support from the Government which made the Duke's illustrious brother resign his place in that Government, and the unceasing attacks on all his movements, as well by parties in Parliament-with eminent statesmen at their head-as by the multitude out of doors, whom the unrestrained press partly instigated, and partly followed.* But another diversity is
* Extracts from the Duke's Despatches.
"I act with a sword hanging over me, which will fall upon me whatever may be the result of affairs here. (This refers to the popular clamours in England.) My opinion is, that a plot is on foot against the English to counteract our pretensions to command the army. Either Souza must quit the country or I shall. It is useless to propose any arrangement for this or any other purpose if the Portuguese Government will execute nothing."
"The Spaniards have neither numbers, efficiency, discipline, bravery,