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institution, then in its proudest array, said, in the House of Commons, " that such laws were sown like dragon's teeth, and sprang up in armed men," the applause which followed, and the glow of enthusiasm which he kindled in every mind, far exceeded my powers of description.
Never did the graces more sedulously cherish and uniformly attend any orator more than this amiable and elegant man. They embellished all that he said; but the graces are fugitive or perishable. Of his admired speeches but few if any records are now to be found; and of his harmonious flowing eloquence, it may be said, as Tacitus did of an eminent speaker in his time :— "Haterii canorum illud, et profluens, cum ipso extinctum est*."
He accepted the office of prime sergeant during the early part of Lord Buckinghamshire's administration; but the experience of one session convinced him that his sentiments and those of the English and Irish cabinets, on the great questions relative to the independence of Ireland, would never assimilate. He soon grew weary of his situation; when his return to the standard of opposition was marked by all ranks of people, and especially his own profession, as a day of splendid triumph. Numerous were the congratulations which he received on this sacrifice of
* It is to be observed, however, that the debate reporters in his time were in general the most ignorant of human beings. Unless, therefore, his friends were at the trouble of preparing some of his speeches for the press, they must have been sadly disfigured. In a debate on the Mutiny Bill, Burke quoted an opinion of Sergeant Maynard's; the reporters stated, that he very appositely introduced a saying of an eminent Sergeant Major.
official emolument, to the duty which he owed to his country. That country he loved even to enthusiasm. He moved the question of a free trade for Ireland, as the only measure that could then rescue this kingdom from total decay. The resolution was concise, energetic, and successful. He supported Mr. Grattan in all the motions which finally laid prostrate the dominion of the British parliament over Ireland. When he did so, he was not unacquainted with the vindictive disposition of the English cabinet of that day, towards all who dared to maintain such propositions. One night, when he sat down after a most able argumentative speech in favour of the just rights of Ireland, he turned to Mr. Grattan, "I have now," said he, "nor do I repent it, sealed the door against my own preferment; and 1 have made the fortune of the man opposite to me," naming a particular person who sat on the treasury bench.
He loved fame, he enjoyed the blaze of his own reputation; and the most unclouded moments of his life were not those when his exertions at the bar, or in the House of Commons, failed to receive their accustomed and ample tribute of admiration; that, indeed, but rarely happened: he felt it at particular moments during his connexion with the Buckinghamshire administration; nor did the general applause which he received counterbalance his temporary chagrin. A similar temperament is, I think, recorded of Racine; but he had not Racine's jealousy. On the contrary, the best intellectual displays of his contemporaries seemed always to be the most agreeable to him; and I can well attest, that he hailed the
dawn of any young man's rising reputation with the tribute of kindred genius.
He died at a time of life when his faculties, always prompt and discriminating, approximated as it should seem to their fullest perfection. On the bench, where he sat more than one year, he had sometimes lost sight of that wise precept which Lord Bacon lays down for the conduct of a judge towards an advocate at his bar: "You should not affect the opinion of poignancy and expedition, by an impatient and catching hearing of the counsellors at the bar*." He seemed to be sensible of his deviation from this; to be convinced that security in our own opinions, like too great security in any thing, "is mortals' chiefest enemy;" and that in our daily converse with the world we meet with others who are far wiser than ourselves, even on those points where we fondly imagine our own wisdom to be the most authenticated. His honest desire not to feed contention, but bring it to as speedy a termination as could reasonably be wished, deserves great praise.
"He did not," says Mr. Flood, alluding to him in one of his speeches, "live to be ennobled, but he was ennobled by nature." I value the just prerogatives of ancient nobility; but to the tears and regrets of a nation bending over the urn of private excellence, as Ireland did over his, what has heraldry to add, or, at such moments, what can it bestow? Hardy.
• Lord Bacon's speech to Judge Hutton, on being made a Judge of Common Pleas.
THE HON. J. H. HUTCHINSON.
John Hely Hutchinson, father to the earl of Donoughmore and Lord Hutchinson, introduced a classical idiom into the House of Commons. No member was ever more extolled and more in fashion than he was on his first appearance there. He opposed government upon almost every question; but his opposition was of no long continuance. As an orator, his expression was fluent, easy, and lively; his wit fertile and abundant; his invective admirable, not so much from any peculiar energy of sentiment or diction, as from being always unclogged with any thing superfluous, or which could at all diminish the justness and brilliancy of its colouring. It ran along with the feelings of the house, and never went beyond them. He saw what the house could bear, and seemed to take the lead in directing their resentment rather than in pointing his own. On such occasions he sunk, as it were, into a temporary oblivion of his own disposition (for he was naturally very irritable), and appeared free from all unseemly impetuosity, indulging the keenest wit, equally within the rules of the house and the limits of decorum. The consequence of this assumed calmness was, that he never was stopped. The house was paid such deference to, that it could not, and received so much entertainment, that it would not interfere. The members for a long time remembered his satire, and the objects of it seldom forgave it. In his personal contests with Mr. Flood (and
in the more early part of their parliamentary career they were engaged in many), he is supposed to have had the advantage. The respect which he uniformly observed towards the house, and the style of his speaking, might have contributed somewhat to this. His oratory was of that gayer kind which captivates an Irish auditory, and incorporated itself more easily with the subjects which, at that period, engaged the attention of the House of Commons. It was, therefore, without derogating at all from his talents, the contention of Demosthenes and Hyperides, on points where we may justly conclude, from the characters of those two eminent Athenians, Hyperides must have been superior. To Flood's anger, Hutchinson opposed the powers of ridicule; to his strength he opposed refinement; to the weight of his oratory, an easy, flexible ingenuity, nice discrimination, and graceful appeal to the passions. As the debate ran high, Flood's eloquence alternately displayed austere reasoning and tempestuous reproof; its colours were chaste, but gloomy; Hutchinson's, on the contrary, were of " those which April wears," bright, various, and transitory: but it was a vernal evening after a storm; and he was esteemed the most successful because he was the most pleasing.
In every thing that he said in the House of Commons, he seemed to have a great sense of public propriety; he was not tedious, but he sometimes enlarged on subjects more than was necessary; a defect which his enemies criticised with peculiar severity. But Mr. Gerard Hamilton (than whom a better judge of public speaking