Page images



of Buonaparte rendered it but a short-lived truce. Lord Whitworth, the British ambassador, again left Paris on the 12th of May, 1803, after having been personally insulted by Buonaparte, whose whole conduct towards this country, since the conclusion of the treaty, was, as Lord Hawkesbury expressed it,“ one continued series of aggression, violence, and insult.” The Ministry of Great Britain were extremely desirous for the continuance of peace; but concession from them was merely the foundation for further demands on the part of the French government-demands, which at length rose to such extravagance, that to have complied with them, would have been the very depth of disgrace and national humiliation. Armaments were prepared in the ports of France and Holland to be employed against England; and Buonaparte having determined upon war, was accumulating his resources, in order to pour them up this country, immediately upon the issuing of a declaration of war. Under these circumstances, his Majesty communicated with Parliament, and Lord Hawkesbury, in a most able speech, enumerated the various subjects of complaint against France. “ War,” as Lord Pelham observed, “ had become inevitable; and it was a war in which the national spirit ought to be exerted in every way which would demonstrate to a proud and insolent foe, that while the people of England were not anxious for an opportunity of taking offence, they were sensibly alive to the least imputation of dishonor, and determined on punishing insults with most exemplary vengeance.” In the House of Lords an address of co-operation was agreed to by a majority of 142 against 10; and in the House of Commons a similar address was sanctioned by 398 against 67. The raising of the militia and the embodying volunteers, in order to protect the country against the threatened invasion, are still fresh in the memory of every one, and prove the cordiality with which the people at large supported the general measures of the administration. But the talents of Mr. Addington were not so much relied upon as those of Mr. Pitt; and the crisis at which public affairs had then arrived demanded the care of the most consummate ability. Accordingly, in May, 1804, Mr. Pitt again resumed the helm, and in this administration Lord Hawkesbury was appointed to the Secretaryship for the Home Department.

In this situation his lordship continued until the death of Mr. Pitt, on the 23d of January, 1806. Upon that event his Majesty offered the post of Premier to Lord Hawkesbury, but his lordship distrusted his ability for that arduous post, and, refusing to co-operate with the coalition administration, retired from office, the King having previously appointed him the successor of Mr. Pitt, as Warden of the Cinque Ports, a situation which he holds for life.

Lord Hawkesbury continued out of office until the dissolution of the coalition, in 1807, when he returned to the Secretaryship of the Home Department, in the Duke of Portland's administration.

In 1808, upon the death of his Lordship's father, he succeeded to the Earldom of Liverpool.

Age compelled the Duke of Portland to retire in the year 1809; and the disputes between Mr. Canning and Lord Castlereagh having rendered other changes necessary, Mr. Percival was appointed First Lord of the Treasury, and Lord Liverpool was transferred from the home department, to that of the war and colonies. Early in 1811, the King having been again attacked with the mental malady under which he had before laboured, the Prince of Wales was appointed Regent, and it was fully anticipated that a change of Ministry would have been the immediate consequence; but his Royal Highness, with a consideration which cannot be too highly extolled, determined upon retaining all the Ministers then in office, being “ unwilling," as he expressed himself, " to do a single act which might retard his father's recovery." This determination continued Lord Hawkesbury in his secretaryship until May, 1812, when the Prime Minister was most tragically taken from the world by the blow of an assassin. This event occasioned considerable confusion: unsuccessful overtures were made to Marquis Wellesley and Lords Grey and Grenville, and it was not until after the lapse of a month that Lord Liverpool accepted the vacant post, which he has occupied from that time up to the period at which we write.

The fifteen years during which Lord Liverpool has held the reins of government, have been years of no ordinary difficulty; and in estimating the merit of his administration, it is necessary to call to remembrance some of the circumstances in which the country has been placed, during that period. He assumed the guidance at a time when we were still involved in that war which he had himself commenced in 1803 : he found the country exhausted by the efforts which had been necessary in order to support so severe a contesta contest, let it be remembered, in which the usurping and tyranuous Emperor of France was not our oniy enemy, but in which we, and Lord Liverpool for us, had to combat, even within the walls of Parliament, the most unprincipled opposition that ever disgraced the annals of our country. The existence of Great Britain, as an independent nation, was at stake. We, we alone, of all the nations of Europe, dared to assert our freedom, against an opponent whose uncontrollable despotism enabled him to bring an almost countless force against all who presumed to deny his right to universal empire. The struggle was indeed tremendous, and much wisdom was required to maintain the unequal fight; but amidst all our difficulties there were men---men calling themselves patriots !---the whole business of whose lives seemed to be, to impede our endeavours to preserve our freedom---who aggravated our losses---misrepresented our victories--inflamed the ignorant---alarmed the timid---deceived the well-meaning, and by their demoniacal speciousness, cooled the ardour of some even of the very firmest amongst us. It is vain, it is foolish to call such men Whigs---the Whigs of old loved their country, and were too firmly attached to liberty to have acted thus;, if they must have a distinguishing name, it ought to be one less honorable---one that shall denote men who seek silk gowns and seats on the Treasurybench, even at the hazard of their country's ruin. All these difficulties



were overcome by Lord Liverpool and his colleagues, and a peace, a hard-won but glorious peace, was obtained by their firmness and perseverance.

At the close of the war, the country began to feel the effects of so arduous a contest: distress amongst the people caused discon. tents; evil-minded men gave the discontent a political turn, and converted the poor, starving people into rebels and traitors, through the agency of Radical Reform. Here, again, the self-styled Whigs distinguished themselves, and endeavoured to make their way to power by the promotion of this seditious outcry.

After these troubles were overcome, the distress alleviated, and the people quieted, the late Queen Caroline furnished them with their next pretext. They supported and encouraged the poor unfortunate woman as long as they thought there was any hope, by her means, of shaking Lord Liverpool from his seat; and when they were baffled, and the trial was over, they left her to die, forsaken.

These few instances—they are but a few out of many-show the spirit of the party against which Lord Liverpool's administration has had to contend. But over all the difficulties they could interpose, and all the difficulties which have arisen from the circumstances of the country, his prudent, cautious, temperate conduct has carried him triumphant. We do not hold him forth as a man of stupendous intellect-a man whose genius entitles him to be ranked amongst the brightest of England's sons, or England's senators; but we claim for him the more useful qualities of discretion; a thorough and intimate acquaintance with all the relations of our country, domestic and foreign; a shrewdness in devising, and a quickness in executing, whatever is necessary for the nation's welfare; and, above all, we claim for him an unimpeached and unimpeachable integrity; a goodness of heart which was never doubted; and a kindness of disposition which was always evinced.

We are told that his political opponents feel confident that they must now assume the guidance of the State. If such should be the case, let them remember, that the ark of the constitution will be committed to them untouched, and woe be to the sacrilegious hand that dares approach it for any unhallowed purpose !

of the politics of Lord Liverpool it is scarcely necessary to speak : they were truly English---built upon well-grounded and acknowledged principles; not propped up by new-fashioned potions, the produce of foreign philosophy. Whatever he supported or opposed, he did so from principle. To this may be referred his opinion upon Catholic Emancipation--if the barrier be broken down between Catholic and Protestant, that also which now divides us from Quakers and Jews will follow. If we have an established Church, we must protect it. This was his reasoning, and he held it better to fight for the frontiers than the capital.

The Countess Theodosia Louisa, the first wife of Lord Liverpool, died on the 12th of June, 1821. Her ladyship is said to have been a female of excellent endowments, and her natural talents improved by education, reading, and reflection. Her charities were numerous, but unostentatious, and her religion fervent without bigotry. She was seriously ill for many months previous to her death.

His lordship was married a second time on the 24th of September, 1822, to Miss Chester, sister of Sir Robert Chester. His lord. ship is childless.

In addition to the honors we have enumerated, we may also mention, that his Majesty, on the conclusion of the war in 1814, nominated him for his services a Knight of the Garter, and he is now one of the Knights Companions.


This harp, which long hath lain unstrung,
Once more shall vibrate to thy praisc,
Aud notes, which late remained unsung,
Shall swell again in lover's-lays,
And music o'er my senses steal,
Tup'd by love,---iispir’d by thee,
And, if thou hast a heart to feel,
Ada, this harp shall plead for me.
It shall be sost as maiden's kiss,
Sweet as thy all-persuading love ;
Its theme shall be requited bliss,
Or sadd'uing strains, for hearts that rove.
Then listen, dearest, while it swells
To sounds of love, and praise of thee ;
Oh! had my harp, but half thy spells,
'I'would win the soul it woos for me.

[ocr errors]


“ I hear a voice you cannot hear,

Which says I must indite ;
I see a hand you cannot see,
Which motions me to write."


MR. EDITOR, May this commencement have the same effect on you that a sugarplum has on a spoiled child, pacify you; and if you will but put on one of your smiles, perhaps I may smile too-and then-but ne quid nimis, which means, we must not butter our muffins too much." As no one can behold the reigning passions of the present day with greater interest than myself, I have the vanity to imagine that you will accept a public attempt at doing a service to the rising generation, in developing the theory of Modern Witchcraft; and I have been led into treating upon this artful subject thus :-Calling upon an old friend in G-sv-or Square, I espied upon bis table a small volume of some periodicals,-printed books at all times, and at all

events, may be subject to the inspection of the curious, (and there are some few of this class in the world) “ thinks I to myself,”—and my opinion remaining undisputed, (I was alone) I forthwith opened the work, and found it to be The National Magazine !-At this moment my friend entered, and seizing my hand, exclaimed, “ Ab! Jack, how are you? how were you ?--and how will you be this petrifying season ?-fine day, but very cold; red noses; healthy, but not beautiful.” Then fixing his eyes upon the work I held, whilst waiting to screw in a word edgeways, he added, " ah ! 'my boy, read that, read that, Multum in Parvo-Memoirs-Literaturea-Collectanea--- Miss Pardoe---par dieu excellent;" then spinning round like a tetotum in the agonies of death, and extending his hand to a shelf, he cried out, “here, here's another, the old New Monthly, I take in both; this reminds me of Pindar's works---clever---comical fellow--

“ A pair of antlers his, he sits on thorns,

And nothing sees but, Horns ! Horns!! Horus !!!”

all Campbell! Campbell!! Campbell !!! --- fashion --- what's in a name? --answer, 3s. 6d. How much longer my loquacious “ West

. ender" might have exercised his lungs, I know not; but à la Paul Pry, having ascertained the state of his tooth-ache, and popping the New Monthly into my pocket, I judged it the better course to leave my friend, as he found me, in absolute possession of his apartment, or (as he is a Parliament man), I ought to say, in possession of the house.” And now, Mr. Editor, you will ask for the sequel; it is this : On perusing your entertaining and instructive periodical, I found in the Collectanea, “ That the last witch burnt in Scotland met her fate in 1722.” The last witch! say you; that cannot be. One hundred and five years have passed away, but witchcraft still prevails.

In all ages (to be serious), from the earliest dawn of literature and historical intelligence, the practice of enchantment or witchcraft has been punished with very rigorous measures, and the greatest lawgivers of this nation, when investigating the nature and magnitude of crimes, did not scruple to enact, that enchantment and witchcraft should be in future deemed “ felony, without benefit of clergy;" so zealous were they to support, with becoming diguity, the character of the English nation, liberal in the reward of virtue, and terrific in the punishment of vice; but whether from any defect in the law itself

, or whether, after a few centuries are elapsed, words and facts change their meaning and nature, I will not determine; yet, such is the unprecedented good fortune of the ladies of 1827, and such their estimation with senators of the present day, that our modern legislators have very sagely decided :-" Though, at a remote period, the existence of witchcraft cannot be denied, yet we cannot give credit to any modern instances of it.” May we not?

If that be so, pray, gentlemen, if it ever existed, when did it cease to be? Our historians are silent, and only tell us, that it once existed, but is now no more. But, Mr. Editor, you will agree with me, that the system founded on

VOL. 1.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »