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he had been telling it. "Well," said Dodington, " and yet I did not hear a word of it; but I went to sleep because I knew that about this time of day you would tell that story."
THE HON. GERARD HAMILTON.
Hamilton, who in the English Parliament got the nickname of Single Speech, spoke well, but not often, in the Irish House of Commons. He had a promptitude of thought, and a rapid flow of well conceived matter, with many other requisites, that only seemed waiting for opportunities to establish his reputation as an orator. He had a striking countenance, a graceful carriage, great selfpossession and personal courage: he was not easily put out of his way by any of those unaccommodating repugnances that men of weaker nerves or more tender consciences might have stumbled at, or been checked by; he could mask the passions that were natural to him, and assume those that did not belong to him: he was indefatigable, meditative, mysterious; his opinions were the result of long labour and much reflection, but he had the art of setting them forth as if they were the starts of ready genius and a quick perception: he had as much seeming steadiness as a partisan could stand in need of, and all the real flexibility that could suit his purpose or advance his interest. Cumberland.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN.
Mr . Henry Fox was a younger brother, of the lowest extraction. His father, Sir Stephen Fox, made a considerable fortune somehow or other, and left him a fair younger brother's portion, which he soon spent in the common vices of youth, gambling included: this obliged him to travel for some time. When he returned, though by education a jacobite, he attached himself to Sir Robert Walpole, and was one of his ablest (lives. He had no fixed principles either of religion or morality, and was too unwary in ridiculing and exposing them. He had very great abilities and indefatigable industry in business; great skill in managing, that is, in corrupting the House of Commons; and a wonderful dexvOL. II. c e
terity in attaching individuals to himself. He promoted, encouraged, and practised their vices; he gratified their avarice, or supplied their profusion. He wisely and punctually performed whatever he promised, and most liberally rewarded their attachment and dependence. By these and all other means that can be imagined he made himself many personal friends and political dependants. He was a most disagreeable speaker in parliament; inelegant in his language, hesitating and ungraceful in his elocution, but skilful in discerning the temper of the house, and in knowing when and how to press or to yield. A constant good humour and seeming frankness made him a welcome companion in social life, and in all domestic relations he was good natured. As he advanced in his life his ambition became subservient to his avarice. His early profusion and dissipation had made him feel the many inconveniences of want; and, as it often happens, carried him to the contrary and worse extreme of corruption and rapine. Rem, quocumque modo rem, became his maxim, which he observed (I will not say religiously and scrupulously, but) invariably and shamefully. He had not the least notion of or regard for the public good or the constitution, but despised those cares as the objects of narrow minds, or the pretences of interested ones; and he lived, as Brutus died, calling virtue only a name.
Mr. Pitt owed his rise to the most considerable posts and power in this kingdom singly to his own abilities; in him they supplied the want of birth and fortune, which latter in others too often supply the want of the former. He was the younger brother of a very new family, and his fortune only an annuity of one hundred pounds a year. The army was his original destination, and a cornetcy of horse his first and only commission in it. Thus, unassisted by favour or fortune, he had no powerful protector to introduce him into business, and (if I may use the expression) to do the honours of his parts; but their own strength was fully sufficient. His constitution refused him the usual pleasures, and his genius forbad him the idle dissipations of youth; for so early as at the age of sixteen he was the martyr of an hereditary gout. He therefore employed the leisure which that tedious and painful distemper either produced or allowed him in acquiring a great fund of premature and useful knowledge. Thus, by the unaccountable relation of causes and effects, what seemed the greatest misfortune of his life was, perhaps, the principal cause of his splendour.
His private life was stained by no vices nor sullied by any meanness. All his sentiments were liberal and elevated. His ruling passion was an unbounded ambition, which, when supported by great abilities and crowned with great success, forms what the world calls " a great man." He was haughty, imperious, impatient of contradiction, and overbearing; qualities which too often accompany but always clog the great ones. He had manners and address; but one might discern through them too great a consciousness of his own superior talents. He was a most agreeable and lively companion in social life; and had such a versatility of wit that he could adapt it to all sorts of conversation. He had also a most happy turn to poetry, but he seldom indulged and seldom avowed it. He came young into parliament, and upon that great theatre soon equalled the oldest and ablest actors. His eloquence was of every kind, and he excelled in the argumentative as well as the declamatory way; but his invectives were terrible, and uttered with such energy of diction and stern dignity of action and countenance, that he intimidated those who were the most willing and the best able to encounter him: their arms fell out of their hands, and they shrunk under the ascendant which his genius gained over theirs. In that assembly, where the public good is talked of, and private interest singly pursued, he set out with acting the patriot, and performed that part so nobly that he was adopted by the public as their chief, or rather only unsuspected champion. The weight of his popularity and his universally acknowledged abilities obtruded upon King George II. to whom he was personally obnoxious. He was made secretary of state: in this difficult and delicate situation, which one would have thought must have reduced either the patriot or the minister to a decisive option