marbles discovered by SPRATT are of the Macedonian period, and probably productions of the school of Pergamus.

At Camerus and elsewhere, in the island of Rhodes, important excavations were carried on by Messrs. BILIo'r'ri and SALZMANN. These also were efi'ected at the public charge. In the course of them nearly three hundred tombs were opened, and many choicely painted fictile vases of the best period of Greek ceramography were found. Those researches at Rhodes were the work of the years 1862, 1863, and 1864. In 1865, the excavations at Halicarnassus were resumed by order of the Trustees, and under the direction of the same explorers, and with valuable results. In 1864, an important purchase of Greek and Roman statues, and of the sculptures from the Farnese Collection at Rome, was made. In the following year came an extensive series of antiquities from the famous Collection of the late Count POURTALfis. Of the precious objects obtained by the researches of Mr. Consul W001), at Ephesus, in the same and subsequent years, a brief notice will be found in Chapter VI.

[ocr errors]

the Foreign Secretaries who began a new epoch, in this department of public duty, by setting new official precedents of regard and forcthought for the augmentation of the national collections.

Report: of British Museum ; 1864, and subsequent years.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Tbe GRENVILLES and their Influence on tile Political Aspect
of the Georgian Reiyns.—T/ie Public and Literary
Life of Me Rib/ll Honourable Tbomas GRENVILLE.-—-
History of tile GRENVILLE Library.

Ir was the singular fortune of Thomas GRENVILLE to belong to a family which has given almost half a score of ministers to England; to possess in himself large diplomatic ability; and to have been gifted—~his political opponents themselves being judges—with considerable talents for administration; and yet, in the course of a life protracted to more than ninety years, to have been an aclive diplomatist during less than one year, and to have been a Minister of State less than half a year. It is true that he was of that happy temperament which both enables and tempts a man to carve out delightful occupation for himself. He had, too, those rarely combined gifts of taste, fortune, and public spirit, which inspire their possessor with the will,

and confer upon him the power, to make his personal enjoyments largely contribute (both in his own time and after it) to the enjoyments'of his fellow-countrymen. It might be true, therefore, to say that Thomas GRENVILLE was the happier and the better for his exclusion, during almost forty-nine-fiftieths of his long life, from the public service. But it can hardly be rash to say that England must needs have been somewhat the worse for that exclusion.

Nor was it altogether a self-imposed exclusion. There was among its causes a curious conjunction of outward accidents and of philosophic self-resignation to their results. Untoward chances abroad twice broke off the foreign embassies of this eminent man. Unforeseen political complications amongst Whigs and semi-Whigs twice deprived him of cabinet office at home. But, no doubt, neither shipwreck at sea nor party intrigue on land Would have been potent enough to keep 'l‘homas GRENVILLE out of high State employment, but for the personal fastidiousness which withheld him from stretching out his hand, with any eagerness, to grasp it.

It would, perhaps, be hard to lay the finger on any one family recorded in the ‘ Brilz's/r Peeraye’ which so long and so largely influenced our political history, in the Georgian era of it, as did that of GRENVILLE. During the century (speaking roundly) which began with the suppression of the 'Jacobite Rebellion of 174 5, and ended with the Repeal of the Corn Laws, GRENVILLES are continually prominent in every important political struggle. The personal influence and (for lack of a plainer word) the characteristic ‘ idiosyncrasy’ of individual GRENVILLES notoriously shaped, or materially helped to shape, several measures that have had world-wide results. But perhaps the most curious feature in their political history as a family is this: At almost every great

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

or run Gaaxvnam. l-‘Mnu; irs urasriox AND ns recurma CHARACTERisrrcs.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

crisis in affairs one GRENVILLE, of ability and prominence, is seen in tolerably active opposition to the rest of the GRENVILLES. In the political history of the man who forms the subject of this brief memoir the family peculiarity, it will be seen, came out saliently.

The political GRENVILLES were offshoots of an old stock which, in the days of eld, were richer in gallant soldiers than in peace-loving publicists. The old GRENVILLES dealt many a shrewd swordthrust for England by land and by sea, in the Tudor times, and earlier. The younger branch has been rich in statesmen and rich in scholars. Not a few of them have shone equally and at once in either path of labour.

Thomas GRENVILLE was the second son of the Minister of GEORGE THE THIRD, George GEENviLLE,—himself the second son of Richard GRENVILLE, of Wotton, and of Hester TEMPLE (co-heiress of Richard TEMPLE, Lord Cobham, and herself created Countess TEMPLE in 1749). He was born on the thirty~first of December, 1755, and entered Parliament soon after attaining his majority. In the House of Commons he voted and acted as a follower of Lord RoexINGRAM and a comrade of Charles Fox, in opposition to the other GRENVILLES and the ‘Grenvillite’ party. Had the famous India Bill of Fox’s ministry been carried into a law, Thomas GRENVILLE, it was understood, would have been the first Governor-General of India under its rule.

His first entrance into the diplomatic service was made in 1782. His mission was to Paris. Its purpose, to negotiate with Benjamin FRANKLIN a treaty of peace with America. The circumstances beneath the influence of which it was undertaken I have had occasion to advert to, already, in the notice of Lord SHELBURNE. It is needless to return to them now.

Thomas Gansvumn’s union in the double negotiation with Mr. .OsWALD (instructed by SHELBURNE, it will be remembered, as GRENVILLE was by Fox) proved to be very distasteful to him. From the beginning it boded ill to the success of the mission. As early as the 4th of June, 17 82, we find Mr. GRENVILLE writing to Fox thus :—‘ I entreat you earnestly to see the impossibility of my assisting you under this contrariety . . . . . . I cannot fight a daily battle with Mr. OSWALD and his Secretary.* It would be neither for the advantage of the business, for your interest, or for your credit or mine ; and, even if it was, I could not do it.’

The then existing arrangements of the Secretaryship of State gave the control of a negotiation with France to one Secretary, and of a negotiation with America to the other. The reader has but to call to mind the well-known political relationship between Fox and SHELBURNE in 1782, to gain a fully sufficient key to the consequent diplomatic relationship between OSWALD and Thomas GRENVILLE, when thus engaged in carrying on, abreast, a double mission at the Court of Paris. To add to the obvious embroilment, OsWALD had shortly before received from Benjamin FRANKLIN a suggestion that Britain should ‘spontaneously ’ cede Canada, in order to enable his astute countrymen at home the better to compensate both the plundered Royalists and those among the victorious opponents of those Royalists who had, from time to time, sustained any damage at the hands of the British armies.

The most earnest entreaties, from many quarters, were used to induce GRENVILLE to remain at Paris. His political friends, and his family connections, were, on that point, alike urgent. But all entreaties were in vain. When the

I" Meaning Lord Shelburne. See, heretofore, pp. 431-433.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ElőzőTovább »