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and without being liable to the caprices and expenses of popular elections, he may pursue the dictates of an honest mind unwarped and uncontrolled; and glow with the inward satisfaction of living for others, and of the daily discharge of patriotic duties. To look up to such a lot as the object of desire, is it to look to that, which is not the desire of virtue and wisdom?
Low-born people too often console themselves that these exhibitions of illustrious blood are the fables of interested flatterers. But upon what clear and incontrovertible proof the pedigrees in these volumes stand, may.safely be left to the most strict and rigorous scrutiny of all those who have skill on the subject. The Peerage can furnish a number of families who can boast in the male line a most venerable antiquity. The names of Nevile, Grey, Talbot, Courtenay, Clifford, Berkeley, Clinton, Lumley, Stanley, Howard, Devereux, Sackville, and St. John, will speak for themselves. The lapse of time may in some cases have weakened the impulse and dimmed the lustre of their energies, though it may not have annihilated the extent of their fortunes. When this derivative splendour is invigorated by the original light of personal merit, how attractive and imposing is it on the feelings of a contemplative mind! Let those, who delight in degradation, rather seek it in the declension of the representative from his transmitted glory, than in the denial of past greatness, which can so easily be proved! They may then cast a sting where it is merited, and may do good: the rest is wilful blindness to the light!
There are some respects in which the members of the Upper House of Parliament have undergone -a material variation of character and habits from those which they formerly held. From their numbers, and from the nearer equality of fortune of the major part of them, they are become more blended with the people. The power and the distance of a stately and reserved aristocracy are lost: and instead of separate rights and views, they possess mingled interests with the commonalty. There are indeed a few vast and princely estates, chiefly the remnants of feudal times, and unproportionably augmented by the amazing rise in the value of landed property, which entitle those who possess them to all the splendor and inAuence of predominant wealth. The Houses of Bedford, Devonshire, Marlborough, Portland, and Northumberland: Buckingham, Stafford, and Hertford: Bridgewater, Fitzwilliam, Darlington, Spencer, Grosvenor, Powis, and Lonsdale, and perhaps a few others, have rentals, which compared with those of ancient days, must appear truly astonishing. Make every allowance for increased prices, and depreciation of money; and still their relative power, as far as wealth can operate, must be augmented. Whether the diminished respect for titles, and the altered manners of society are not more than a counterbalance to this, may be fairly questioned !
The magnificent palaces of Blenheim, Chatsworth, Woburn, and Stowe; the noble castles of Alnwick and Raby; the ancient and spreading mansions of Welbeck and Milton; the venerable park and classical site of Ashridge; the rich and highly adorned seats of Trentham and Althorp, become the rich Peers who own them, and support the splendor of the British Peerage. In the residences of these great families, both in the country and the capital, the arts flourish; and learning finds the amplest repositories. The Stafford, Carlisle, and Grosvenor collections of pictures; the Spencer, Marlborough, Devonshire, Bridgewater, and Pembroke libraries, are national treasures, becoming a people who are contending for the empire of the world.
If to ruminate on the heroes of feudal times gratify, a wild curiositý, and raise a brilliant array of images in a rich and picturesque imagination, it is perhaps in the exhibition of those who have risen by their intellectual merits in a more refined state of society, that we furnish something more suited to excite the interest of the moralist, and the sympathy of the heart. Cecil, Cooper, St. John, Harley, Walpole, and Pulteney-Chatham, and his son Pitt; Holland, with his son Charles Fox; and Melville-Bacon, Clarendon, and Somers; Yorke, Talbot, Murray, Thurlow, and Dunning: these are men, whose lives we may study without wasting our time in an idle and uninstructive curiosity! Nor will the memoirs of our great commanders, either by sea or land, be read without virtuous emotions, or solid information.
The Editor in the undertaking of this heavy task has been actuated by no other motive than a pure desire to produce an useful work, which appeared to be much wanted. He began it without any demand or hope of reward, merely as an inducement to the proprietors to hazard the great expense of a reprint, when, if they had had the additional cost of an Editor to pay, they might have been discouraged from the scheme. The very handsome and large presents of books which the proprietors have since bestowed on him without any stipulation, are as gratifying to his pride, as they are honourable to their liberality. The time consumed, and the occasional labour have been such, as he confessedly, did not foresee. But he is aware that those, who had no other avocations nor pursuits, might have executed the work much more expeditiously. He confesses that, somewhat volatile and uncertain in the objects of his curiosity and amusement, he has been too often drawn aside by every flower, and tempted by every new prospect. A reader in every various path of polite literature, voracious of books, yet impatient of steady application ; sometimes at a distance from the materials and volumes required for this task, and sometimes forgetting them in the more urgent discussions of temporary interest, or the more seductive pages of affecting or playful genius,--the progress of this Peerage has too often languished, and even slept.
At length it comes, not without some anxiety of the Editor, before the public eye. He looks for little praise; nor does he wholly hope to escape censure.
Of the reader, who adds candour to intelligence, he is not much in fear. In such an immense number of facts and dates, there must be some oversights, and some omissions. A sound judgment will not require him to have heaped together every thing which might be found on the subject, without selection; and pour out an indigested common-place book, or loaded memory on every article. It is sufficient to have given the prominent features, and pointed out the track of reading which may still lead to farther illustration. The reader in prose, as well as in poetry, wishes to have something for the exercise of his own ingenuity, and a display of the stores of his own mind.
Of the materials and authorities, on which this work is built, little further requires to be said. The references at the bottom of almost every page speak for themselves, A long familiarity with all the minutiæ of pedigree, and habits of research for more than twenty years among original documents and ancient memorials, more especially the immense mass of genealogical MSS. in the British Museum, have given the Editor a critical judgment on such subjects, which secures him from indiscriminate compilation. Something more might unquestionably have been done in some cases by the aid of the respective families of whom he has treated. But he is not ashamed to confess, that to the task of solicitation his pride would not submit. Besides, it might have re
strained his pen in the exercise of that freedom integrity and truth, teinpered by candour, with which he has most sedulously endeavoured to give the history of every family.
To a few persons only has be to make his acknowledgements of assistance. George Naylor, Esq. York Herald, has, at the expense of the publishers, furnished copies of all or most of the pedigrees of the new peers, which have been entered at the Heralds' College. These will be apparent, and need not be particularized. To the Right Honourable the Earl of Lonsdale, K. G. the Editor is indebted for the curious memoir of his collateral ancestor the first Viscount, printed for private
Tu ihe late Viscount Melville, for the printed memoir of his immediate ancestors, which is copied into Vol. vi. To Viscount Sidmouth, and Lord De Dunstanville, for replies to the Editor's queries. To the Honourable and Reverend Francis Egerton, for the life of his ancestor the Lord Chancellor BRACKLEY; and to John Egerton, Esq. of Olton, M. P. for Chester, for the deduction of his own branch of the family. To Earl Nelson, Lord Sheffield, and the Honourable W. B. Lygon, M. P. for Worcestershire, for corrections in their respective articles; which two last, though they arrived after those articles were printed, will be noticed in the Addenda. He is also indebted to the Rev. J. Blakeway, of Shrewsbury, for the use of his Marginal Notes to his copy of Collins; and to T. B. Howell, Esq. the learned Editor of the new edition of the State Trials, for a most important addition to the article of the Earl of Doncaster (Duke of Buccleugh); to Frederick Holdsworth, Esq. for his liberal offers of aid in the Roper pedigree; and to J. Haslewood, Esq. for his addition to the Berkeley article.
• Some new Peers have not entered any pedigrees.