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who ever served the crown for so great a length of time. He gained over very few from the opposition. Without being a genius of the first class, he was an intelligent, prudent, and safe minister. He loved peace; and he helped to communicate the same disposition to nations at least as warlike and restless as that in which he had the chief direction of affairs. Though he served a master who was fond of martial fame, he kept all the establishments very low. The land tax continued at two shillings in the pound for the greater part of his administration. The other impositions were moderate. The profound repose, the equal liberty, the firm protection of just laws during the long period of his power, were the principal causes of that prosperity which afterwards took such rapid strides towards perfection; and which furnished to this nation ability to acquire the military glory which it has since obtained, as well as to bear the burdens, the cause and consequence of that warlike reputation. With many virtues, public and private, he had his faults; but his faults were superficial. A careless, coarse, and over familiar style of discourse, without sufficient regard to persons or occasions, and an almost total want of political decorum, were the errors by which he was most hurt in the public opinion; and those through which his enemies obtained the greatest advantage over him. But justice must be done. The prudence, steadiness, and vigilance of that man, joined to the greatest possible lenity in his character and his politics, preserved the crown to vOL. II. A A j this royal family; and with it, their laws and liberties to this country.
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When I was young a general fashion told me I was to admire some of the writings against that minister; a little more maturity taught me as much to despise them. I observed one fault in his general proceeding. He never manfully put forward the entire strength of his cause. He temporised, he managed; and adopting very nearly the sentiments of his adversaries, he opposed their inferences. This, for a political commander, is the choice of a weak post. His adversaries had the better of the argument, as he handled it, not as the reason and justness of his cause enabled him to manage it. Burke.
SIR ROBERT WALPOLE, THE DUKE OF CUMBER. LAND, LORD GRANVILLE, LORD MANSFIELD, AND MR. PITT, COMPARED.
Lord Granville was most a genius of the five: he conceived, knew, expressed, whatever he pleased. The state of Europe and the state of literature were equally familiar to him. His eloquence was rapid, and flowed from a source of wit, grandeur, and knowledge. So far from premeditating, he allowed no reflection to chasten it. It was entertaining, it was sublime, it was hyperbole, it was ridiculous, according as the profusion of ideas crowded from him. He embraced systems like a legislator, but was capable of none of the details of a magistrate. Sir Robert Walpole was much the reverse: he knew mankind, not their writings; he consulted their interests, not their systems; he intended their happiness, not their grandeur. Whatever was beyond common sense, he disregarded. Lord Mansfield, without the elevation of Lord Granville, had great powers of eloquence. It was a most accurate understanding, and yet capable of shining in whatever it was applied to. He was as free from vice as Pitt, more unaffected, and formed to convince, even where Pitt had dazzled. The duke of Cumberland had most expressive sense, but with that connexion between his sense and sensibility, that you must mortify his pride before you could call out the radiance of his understanding. Being placed at the head of armies without the shortest apprenticeship, no wonder he miscarried: it is cruel to have no other master than one's own faults. Pitt's was an unfinished greatness: considering how much of it depended on his words, one may almost call his an artificial greatness: but his passion for fame and the grandeur of his ideas compensated for his defects. He aspired to redeem the honour of his country, and to place it in a point of giving laws to nations. His ambition was to be the most illustrious man of the first country in Europe; and he thought that the eminence of glory could not be sullied by the steps to it being passed irregularly. He wished to aggrandize Britain in general; but thought not of obliging or benefiting individuals. Lord Granville you loved till you knew him; Sir Robert Walpole the more you knew him; you would have loved the Duke, if you had not feared him. Pitt liked the dignity of despotism; Lord Mansfield the reality: yet the latter would have served the cause of power without sharing it: Pitt would have set the world free, if he might not command it. Lord Granville would have preferred doing right, if he had not thought it more convenient to do wrong. Sir Robert Walpole meaned to serve mankind, though he knew how little they deserved it; and this principle is at once the most meritorious in one's self and to the world.
THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE.
The public opinion put him below his level; for though he had no superior parts or eminent talents, he had a most indefatigable industry, a perseverance, a court-craft, a servile compliance with the will of his sovereign for the time being, which qualities, with only a common share of common sense, will carry a man sooner and more safely through the dark labyrinth of a court than the most shining parts would do without those meaner talents. He was good natured to a degree of weakness, even to tears, upon the slightest occasions; exceedingly timorous, both personally and politically, dreading the least innovation, and keeping with a scrupulous timidity in the beaten track of business, as having the safest bottom.
I will mention one instance of this disposition, which, I think, will set it in the strongest light. When I brought the bill into the House of Lords for correcting and amending the calendar, I gave him previous notice of my intentions: he was alarmed at so bold an undertaking, and conjured me not to stir matters that had been long quiet; adding, that he did not love new fangled things. I did not, however, yield to the cogency of these arguments, but brought in the bill, and it passed unanimously. From such weaknesses it necessarily follows that he could have no great ideas nor elevation of mind. His ruling, or rather his only passion was the agitation, the bustle, and the hurry of business, to which he had been accustomed above forty years: but he was as dilatory in despatching it as he was eager to engage in it. He was always in a hurry; never walked, but always ran, insomuch that I have sometimes told him, that by his fleetness one should rather take him for the courier than the author of the letters. He was as jealous of his power as an impotent lover of his mistress; without activity of mind enough to enjoy or exert it, but could not bear a share even in the appearances of it. His levees were his pleasure and his triumph; he loved to have them crowded, and, consequently, they were so: there he made people of business wait two or three hours in the anti-chamber, while he trifled away that time with some insignificant favourites in his closet. When at last he came into his levee-room, he accosted, hugged, embraced, and promised every body with a seeming cordiality, but at the same time with an illiberal and degrading familiarity. He was exceedingly disinterested, very profuse of his own fortune, and abhorring all those means too often used by persons in his station either to gratify their avarice or to supply their