« ElőzőTovább »
court that nothing could preserve the balance of the essay, that it has been the fate of George the Third constitution from being overturned by the rabble, to have his faults greatly exaggerated; but, desiror by a faction of the nobility, but to free the sov- ing to be an honest historian, he cannot refrain, in ereign effectually from that ministerial tyranny a later passage, from adding his own high authority under which the royal dignity had been oppressed not the less weighty for its courteous phrase, to the in the person of his majesty's grandfather.' bitter chronicle of those faults. Translate 66
In a later passage, the qualities of prudence and serve” into its plainer word, and add to it “ incaution requisite for the conduct of so refined a trigue,” “ foolish prejudices," " want of charity,” scheme are inferred from the opening acts of the brooding sullenness, antipathies," " obstinayoung king's reign :
cy,” and “ narrow intellect;" and there is wanting “That the project of restoring to the crown that no single trait of that most unlovely character, absolute direction and control which Charles the which it is the preposterous office of the Adolphuses First and James the Second had been forced to of history to hold forth as a pattern of the public relinquish, and from which George the First, and and private virtues. George the Second, had quietly abstained, was
"ni The child was father to the man.' The same entertained and attempted by George the Third, facility in imbibing foolish prejudices; the same can hardly be doubted.
obstinacy in adhering to them ; the same want of “It must be owned, that the moment was in frankness in his intercourse with men, and the many respects eminently auspicious to the execu- same want of charity in his religious principles ; tion of such a plan. The Stuarts, as Mr. Adolphus the same strength of memory for those who offended remarks, had fallen into contempt; and the whig him, and the same brooding sullenness against families were no longer necessary to guard the those who opposed his will, which had been obparliamentary title of the house of Hanover. Let served in the boy, were manifest in the king us add to this, that the whigs were themselves Thus it happened that for several years he made broken into sections, separately weak, and too the punishment of Wilkes a darling project of his jealous of each other to combine. The Duke of government; that when that mock patriot grew Newcastle, the ancient chief of the party, had low- tired of brawling, the subjection of America beered himself by folly, and his party by corruption. came the prevailing object of the royal policy; and Lord Holland was hated, and could not stand alone; that, at a later period, the exclusion of the Irish Mr. Pitt was haughty and self-willed, and had people from the privileges of the constitution, abbroken his connexion with the other whig chiefs ; sorbed his narrow intellect and grew into a passion. the Duke of Bedford, in his eagerness for peace, Thus, too, it happened, that on the occasion of the had acted with and under Lord Bute. Nor was repeal of the Stamp Act, in 1767, and on the prothe king deficient in the prudence and caution posal of Mr. Fox's India bill in 1784, the ostensible requisite for the conduct of a refined scheme. ministers of the crown were treated with reserve
“A trifling incident which occurred on his acces- and dissimulation ; while the lords of the bedsion, showed the power he had acquired over his chamber and the party of the king's friends recountenance and manner. He had arranged before-ceived their private instructions to oppose the hand with one of his grandfather's attendants, that measure to which the royal sanction had apparently a particular message or note should signify to him been given. The treatment of Lord Grenville and the death of George the Secord. The note was Lord Grey, in 1807, on the subject of the Roman brought to him when he was riding. He showed Catholics, was marked by similar reserve, and not no emotion ; but observing that his horse was very dissimilar intrigues. Thus too it happened lame, turned his head homewards; when he got that statesmen of great weight in parliament were off his horse, he told the groom in a whisper that for many years excluded from the king's councils he had said the horse was lame, and desired that by the obstinacy of personal resentment, or the he might not be contradicted.
antipathies of an uncharitable temper.". “A trying temptation exhibited the king to his A few sentences which follow these, in summing subjects in a most favorable light. His two prede- up the effects of even a partial success of this inaucessors arriving at the throne at a mature age, had spicious system, and speculating on what its more given the example of a court where immorality prolonged results might have been, contain thoughts was combined with monotony, and vice reigned which, coming from Lord John Russell, will be read together with dulness. The young prince was not with peculiar interest in reference to late transacinsensible to the charms of beauty. His attentions lions : to Lady Sarah Lennox were soon remarked, and “ The will of a prince of ihe most ordinary unthere can be little doubt that her uncle, Lord Hol- derstanding, of the most confined education, and of land, entertained hopes of an alliance of the house the most unhappy opinions, was made to prevail of Richmond with the throne. But these symp- over the enlightened views of Lord Chatham, Lord toms of a growing passion were speedily arrested ; Rockingham, Mr. Burke, Mr. Fox, and Mr. Pitt. grave reasons of state were allowed to prevail, and One of the great distinctions of a free country, that a princess of Mecklenburg Strelitz was invited to of being governed by its ablest men, was at several preside over a family, where a young sovereign periods of this reign entirely lost. The utmost gave an example to his subjects of moral purity. confusion prevailed for the first ten years of this
“Such a prince was well fitted to acquire an as- inauspicious system. Nothing indeed but the magcendant over a people attached to the domestic nitude of the danger which the country incurred at virtues, and unaccustomed to self-denial on the the end of the American and the commencement of throne."
the French wars, prevented George the Third from Nevertheless we may doubt if so considerable ruling the country by the Jenkinsons and the Adand confessed a proficiency in hypocrisy and false- dingtons, and excluding the greatest of his subjects hood may fairly be ranked with the domestic virtues altogether from the councils of the state. and self-denials, or offer to a people the right kind Party has no doubt its evils; but all the evils of example of moral purity. Lord John Russell of party put together would be scarcely a grain in thinks it necessary to remark, in the course of his the balance, when compared to the dissolution of
honorable friendships, the pursuit of selfish ends, I had sacrificed for his own advantage all the fruits
“ I have gone over the story of those times, be- little, disposed to modify them for the sake of concause it appears to me they are full of instruction cert, or to renounce them when shown 10 be imand of warning.”
practicable. Without the large conceptions of Mr. We shall not here discuss the much-vexed ques- Pitt, he was equally removed from those lower tion of the reviled peace of '63. Lord John Russell views of interest which had turned Mr. Fox aside seems less disposed heartily to defend his ancestor's from the charge of the public weal to the care of share in it, than any other transaction of his public his private fortune. Forming to himself a rule
But upon incidental points he clears away characteristic of his love of method, he resolved to some doubt; and, in reference to the immediate spend no more money in the periods he held office cause of Pitt's resignation (the war with Spain) not than in those he was unsalaried, in order, as he having been the main ground of difference between explained it, that he might be above the temptahim and the majority of the cabinet, has a remark tions of place for the sake of luxury or enjoyment. which will probably be twisted into the service of His integrity was equal to that of Mr. Pitt. But matters under present discussion. Great have been it must be owned that his severe attacks on the' the changes in public feeling since the Duke of prodigality of that minister brought 10 mind the Bedford's time; so great, that the promoter of a just fact that for many years he sat silent as treasurer war would be, now-a-days, much more in danger of the navy, suffering profusion to go onrebuked. of being stoned than the negotiator of an unjust His subsequent censure partook somewhat of an peace ;-and, looking at this condition of popular envy of great Cæsar. He had been raised by feeling, we may fairly congratulate ourselves, with Lord Bute to a cabinet office during the preparaout entering into the old dispute as between a Bute tions for peace; had gone, from being secretary of and a Chatham, on possessing a prime minister state, to the post of first lord of the admiralty, beto whom the “most prudent policy scems prefer- cause he disapproved of some of the terms allowed able to "the most daring,” in everything which to France, and had declined to take the leading concerns the good understanding of England and part in defence of the treaty in the house of comFrance.
mons against Mr. Pitt and his friends. His chief “He had avowed that, in his opinion, no peace fault was that for which Mr. Burke has noted him, ought to be concluded with France, until she con- too great a reliance on the precedents on the file, sented to give up the fishery of Newfoundland, the and too obstinate an adherence to plans of governchief nursery of her seamen. The Duke of Bed- ment unwisely conceived and unfortunately pursued. ford, on the other hand, persuaded Lord Bute and This failing, again, arose in great part from a want the Duke of Newcastle that it was neither reason- of sympathy with the assertion of free principles, able nor practicable to deprive France of the means where no book could be quoted for his guidance. of supplying her navy with seamen, by the encour- He could denounce with vehemence any failure of agement and maintenance of her fisheries. The vigor, and glow with indignation against an exerpolicy of Mr. Pitt was the most daring—that of the tion of power not warranted by law. But where Duke of Bedford the most prudent. With the one the confines of legality and liberty had not been decourse, joined to the haughty language of Mr. Pitt, fined, he sided with authority; and when a formal nothing but the most complete destruction of her decision had been made, he mistook the fiction of resources would have induced France to consent to parliamentary omnipotence for a reality of the Eng. peace : with the other, England greatly augmented lish constitution. His style of speaking was solid, her dominions, husbanded her resources, and gained argumentative, vigorous, but not exalted by fancy, at the same time a character for moderation. like that of Mr. Pitt, nor quick and dexterous, like
“When the treaty arrived in London, Lord that of Mr. Fox, nor smooth and harmonious, like Granville, who after being the most turbulent, had that of Lord Mansfield. Such was the new first become the most complying member of the cabinet, lord of the treasury, and chancellor of the exwas sinking into the grave. Mr. Wood, the under chequer." secretary, brought him the treaty of,
Another happy sketch of the unbappy Chatham found him so languid,' says this gentleman, ‘that I administration, may remind us of the best touches proposed postponing my business for another time; of the same admirable master: but he insisted that I should stay, saying it could " Then was formed that famous ministry of Lord not prolong his life to neglect his duty. He then Chatham, in which Lord Chatham was a cipher; a desired to hear the treaty read, to which he listened ministry which overturned his whole plan of poliwith great attention, and recovered spirits enough cy; persecuted Wilkes till they had nearly raised to declare the approbation of a dying statesman (I a rebellion in England; contradicted their supposed use his own words) on the most glorious war and chief in every step, and then contradicted and disathe most honorable peace this nation ever saw.” vowed each other; taxed America, with Mr. Con
“But whatever might be the calm judgment of way in office, the repealer of the stamp act, and I å statesman, the power of Lord Bute received a still the nominal leader of the house of commons ; great blow from the signature of the peace of Paris. entered into a conflict with the electors of MiddleThe conquering soldier could not bear to be stopped sex, against the opinion of Lord Camden, their in his career ; a nation proud of its victories bore chancellor; and finally brought upon their heads with indignation the dismissal of the minister who the voice of Lord Chatham's ihunder, when he in had organized success, and the restoration of any vain endeavored to compose the waves which his part of its conquests to a defeated enemy. The own Æolus had lashed into fury.”' Duke of Bedford was hissed in the streets of Lon- Every one knows the Duke of Bedford's celedon; Lord Bute was everywhere reviled, as if he brated interview with the king, which left his maj.
esty in convulsions, says Junius ; in which the cious practices by which a traitor may be known, duke was brutal, says Burke; in which he covered by which a free people may be enslaved. But the the princess-mother with invectives, and threatened masterpiece of his treachery, and the surest of anLord Bute with the block, says Horace Walpole. swering all his purposes, would be, if possible, to Of this never-to-be-forgotten interview, Lord John foment such discord between the mother country Russell (from a letter of the duke to his son-in- and her colonies as may leave them both an easier law, and a memorandum written at the time to the prey to his own dark machinations. With this same effect) supplies the following quiet account, patriotic view, he will be ready to declare himself which would seem to exhibit it, if in all respects the patron of sedition, and a zealous advocale for correct, as one of the most ludicrous of the mares'- rebellion. Then, again, we have him portrayed nests of history :
as so black a villain ;' and a comfortable reflec“ The Duke of Bedford, angry at the manifest tion at the close, that although we have no Tarwant of support from the court, asked for an audi- peian rock,' 'yet we have impeachments; and a ence of the king, before he left London for the gibbet is not too honorable a situation for the car
The interview took place on the 12th of cass of a traitor.' Such was the style of the libelJune. The duke reminded his majesty of the ler before he had learnt to point his arrows; such terms on which the ministry had consented to re- was his respect for public services, and an honorasume their offices, and asked whether the promise ble old age. Presently more pains were taken; made to them had been kept; whether the reverse the style became less inflated, and the matter less was not the fact ? whether Lord Bute had not been absurd ; the author took the name of Junius, and favored, and the friends of the ministry discounte- suddenly attracted general notice. nanced? Finally, he besought the king 'to per- “I need hardly vindicate the Duke of Bedford mit his authority and his favor to go together; and from the attacks of Junius. Lord Brougham, in his if the last could not be given to his present minis- · Statesmen of the Reign of George the Third,' has ters, to transfer to others that authority which must amply proved the baselessness of his calumnies. be useless in their hands, unless so strengthened.' But the whole fabric deserves to be pointed out as The king said little, except that he had not seen a specimen of the taste and temper of those days. Lord Bute."
Let it be first observed, that the favorite topics of Of course Lord John Russell does not spare that this writer were those from which a man of generterrible libeller of his ancestor, who promises to ous or even moderately good feelings would have have the strange fate of continuing both anonymous shrunk. If he writes to George the Third, he bitand immortal. Who can wonder that any writer terly reproaches him with the supposed dishonor should have shrunk from avowing the infamy of of his mother. If he addresses the Duke of Grafthe scandals of Junius, whatever sacrifice of an- | ton, he reminds him jestingly of the infidelity of his other kind of fame it might imply? The hand may wife. If he chooses the Duke of Bedford for his be a delicate one, its ruffles of the finest lace, its butt, lie brings to mind the sudden death of his only sword jewel-mounted and jewel-hilted; but if it son, and calls public attention to the measure and has been mainly used in a dark alley, and in secret mode of his private grief. To any writer moved stabbings against life and honor, there are few who solely by regard for his country, these topics would would care to own it!
have been alien or distasteful. But it seems to have Lord John Russell thus introduces and describes been the delight of this libeller to harrow the souls Junius:
of those who were prominent in public life; and “The war of parties was carried on during the last while he had not courage to fight with a sword in century in a manner somewhat different from the the open daylight, he had too much malignity 10 fashion of the present day. The houses of parlia- refrain from the use of the dagger, covered by a ment did not allow their debates to be published. mask, and protected by the obscurity of the night. The imperfect and garbled reports which appeared Nor can any excuse be found for this writer in the in monthly miscellanies gave but a faint and distorted warmth of his ardor for public liberty. His zca) reflection of the actual contest of debate. The lead-on that subject was wonderfully tempered by discreing parties in the state, in order to obtain the verdict tion. He viewed favorably the taxation of Amer. of the country, either wrote, or paid for, pamphlets ica, and dreaded as excessive innovation the disfranand periodical writings setting forth their principles chisement of Gatton and Old Sarum. A false accuand iheir conduct. Sir Robert Walpole hired some sation gratified his rancor; the improvement of the indifferent authors; Lord Bolingbroke wrote him- constitution alarmed his caution. self in the • Craftsman ;' Ralph set up a paper at “ The habit of anonymous writing is apt tv produce the desire of the Duke of Bedford ; Dr. Johnson an absurd exaggeration in the language used towards employed his pen in behalf of the ministry. In statesmen. The writer can, on the one hand, derive this state of things, an anonymous writer published no weight from his reputation for integrity or for some letters under various signatures in the • Pub- knowledge; an attack without a name may be writlic Advertiser. At first, these letters were of the ten by the most worthless and ignorant, as well as usual description of such writings, bombastical and by the honestest and most learned of men. On the empty, much abuse without any proof, and great other hand, he feels none of that caution which presumption without great talent. Lord Chatham arises from the consciousness, that while he fires was the chief object of the writer's extravagant in- his rifle, he is exposing his own person to liis enevective, and Mr. Grenville the subject of his equally my. It is for these two reasons that we generally extravagant praise. Thus we have Lord Chatham find anonymous writers so much more abusive than described as a man purely and perfectly bad,' and men who speak or write in their own names. The then depicted as having ' arrived at that moment at haunting colors of the daub attract the eye of the which he might see himself within reach of the vulgar; while the just harmony of a good portrait great object, to which all the artifices, the intrigues, is valued only by those who love a true likeness.” the hypocrisy, and the impudence of his past life There is much truth in that; and however widely were directed.' Then, after an account of his con- on some points our estimate of Junius' talents and duct we have : · These are but a few of the perni- motives may differ from Lord John Russell's, we
have never doubted the cruel falsehood and wicked- “Mr. Fox never thought very highly of this ness of his imputations in this particular case. writer ; nor can his letters be regarded otherwise Compared with the innocent entries of the duke's than as a disgraceful proof that considerable talents journal, here authentically republished, the violence may be devoted to the most malignant slander, and of the libeller should now, indeed, chiefly provoke that calumnies may be so elaborately contrived as a smile. Lord John Russell condescends to afford to exist beyond the usual period of their ephemeral them this serious and sufficient answer :
and loathsome life.' “ Such false drawing as that of Junius does much “Whither,” asked Junius, the year before the lo corrupt the public judgment. It is of the utmost duke died, “whither shall this unhappy old man importance that a nation should have a correct stand- retire? Can he remain in the metropolis ? If he ard by which to weigh the character of its rulers. returns to Woburn, scorn and mockery await him. But if the weak and the misguided are called trai- He must create a solitude round his estate, if he tors' and 'villains,'--still more, if purity of conduct would avoid the face of reproach and derision.” is made the theme of invective, as much as notori- And, meanwhile, the unhappy old man was playing ous dishonesty, the good are discouraged, the bad games of Quadrille, dining with the Catch Club, are comforted, and the indolent opinion of the idle trifling with the Society of Diletanttes, enjoying multitude confounds in one sweeping condemnation Ariana at the Opera house, or Thomas and Sally the most unblemished of patriots with the most at Drury Lane, seeing Master Townshend in Cato, greedy of demagogues and the most corrupt of or the Duke of York in Lothario, welcoming scorn courtiers.
and mockery that he might admire the Lady Mac“ The special accusations against the Duke of beth of “incomparable Mrs. Yates;” and avoiding Bedford may be soon disposed of. Indeed, they faces of reproach and derision among the crowds almost vanish when they are pressed into substance. that flocked to the benefit of Kitty Člive. Poor, For instance, that the duke had been beaten on a unhappy old man !
The fact was, that he had been But his memory may now be at rest. His disassaulted by some Jacobite rioters, in the Jacobite tinguished descendant has worthily and nobly county of Stafford, two years after the rebellion. cleared it, of at least all baser matters of reproach"; Or, that he had been paid for the peace of Paris. and closes his labors with this elegant tribute of The proof of this baseless fiction was, that the contrast to Lord Chesterfield : Duke of Marlborough had refused a bribe from “ Warm and eager in his disposition, of a social Torcy during the Succession War! Or, thirdly, and cheerful temper, he devoted himself with ardor that he had shown less grief than he should have to political affairs, enjoyed with keen delight the done for the death of his son. But who can sound playhouse, or the opera, and then turned with the depths of a private sorrow? Or who will ven- equal animation to see his oats carried, or join in ture to affirm that a vote given at the India House, a game of cricket. He was in many respects a on a great public question, may not have been the great contrast to the Earl of Chesterfield. That vain attempt of an afflicted heart to break a single accomplished and witty person was often right in link in the chain of a continuous sorrow? I need his political views, and always pointed in the expresnot notice the low tale, that the Duke and Duchess sion of his opinions. The Duke of Bedford was of Bedford had sold the wardrobe of their son and sometimes very right, and sometimes exceedingly daughter-in-law. These effects were given, as was wrong, but his study of the subject was always the practice, to the immediate servants of Lord and better than the language of his speeches. Lord Lady Tavistock, and sold by them for their own Chesterfield endeavored to imitate the profligacy, benest. Indeed, there was nothing sordid in the the levity, the neglect of moral duties of the French duke's attention to his fortune. When his son had nobility. The Duke of Bedford liked a jolly comchosen a wife whom the duke approved, Walpole panion, and an athletic game, but was deeply says, “the duke asked no questions about fortune, attached to the religion of his country and the soci. but has since slipped a bit of paper into Lady Eliz- ety of his own family. Lord Chesterfield endeavabeth's hand, telling her he hoped his son would ored, though in vain, to teach his son the arts of live; but if he did not, there was something for intrigue, and a tone of clever insincerity upon all her. It was a jointure of three thousand a year, subjects. The Duke of Bedford attained his utand six hundred pin money.' He allowed his son most wishes when he saw his son married to a vireight thousand a year, and on his death increased tuous woman, and in the enjoyment of domestic the jointure of Lady Tavistock.
happiness. The want of practical religion and "It must be acknowledged, however, that Junius morals which Lord Chesterfield held up to imitawas a most accomplished libeller. Although he tion, conducted the French nobility to the guillowas no lawyer, and had but a smattering of consti- tine and emigration ; the honesty, the attachment tutional knowledge, his statements on legal and to his religion, the country habits, the love of home, constitutional questions are clear and plausible, his the activity in rural business and rural sports in periods concise and harmonious ; his epigram which the Duke of Bedford and others of his class pointed, and his sarcasm exquisitely polished: delighted, preserved the English aristocracy from a These qualities, together with the proneness of flood which swept over half of Europe, laying prosmankind to believe the false, and doubt the true, trate the highest of her palaces, and scaitering the sufficiently account for the great popularity of Ju- ashes of the most sacred of her monuments.” nius :
We may apply to the spirit of this pleasing and L'homme est de feu
pointed parallel what the writer himself happily pour
says of Burke's partial character of Lord RockingIl est de glace pour la vérité.'-La Fontaine.
ham—it is a portrait set in diamonds.
have no eyes,
THREADING THE NEEDLE.
That one would think the public voice' was some
huge omnibus [In Mrs. Norton's "Scrap Book for 1847,” Sharp's old which takes you to a certain point, whereat you print is thus illustrated by Lady Dufferin:]
must remain, “ Au deary me! what needles !—well, really I Until the same old Buss may choose--to take you
back again ! must say, All things are sadly altered—(for the worse too) For, (odd enough,) in all this change, they keep since my day!
some order still, The pins have neither heads nor points—the needles And when they turn,--turn all at once,—like sol
diers at a drill ; And there's ne'er a pair of scissors of the good old- But wont allow a public man, a private pirouette, fashioned size!
When once his part of Harlequin, or Pantaloon, is The very bodkins now are made in fine new-fangled
And that's what makes their Pantomime so dull,
and such a bore,
“ Now that comes of Newspapers ! I know in my
• Least said, and soonest mended,' was a maxim Altho' its easy proving to the most thick-pated
worthy praise, dunce,
But were I to give counsel to the Public—as a That things ar'n't done the better—for all being
friend, done at once.
· Little said—and nothing written,' is the rule I'd I'm sure I often ponder, with a kind of awful dread,
recommend. On those bold spinning-jennies,' that go off, of
Such snapping-up-and setting down! Reporters, their own head!'
left and right! Those power-looms and odd machines,—those All bent on pinning down a man to lie, in black. whizzing things with wheels,
and white ! That evermore keep moving !?--besides, one re. Such raking up of Hansard ! such flinging in one's
face, So superannuated-like, and laid upon the shelfWhen one sees a worsted stocking, get up, and Any little lapsus linguæ' that may once have knit itself!
Such a-fending and a-proving,—and a-calling over “ Ah! that comes of those Radicals ! why, Life 's
coals, a perfect storm,
As if it really mattered to our poor immortal souls, A whirlwind of inventions! with their · Progress' | That Thingumbob should think or say, on question and · Reform!'
so and so, The good old days—the quiet times, that calmly That foolish things he thought and said--some forty used to glide,
years ago! Are changed into a steeple-chase,-a wild 'cross- There 's one thing in those papers, tho', I 'm very
glad to see, A loud view-holloa in our ears_away ! away! That many more old women think very much like
we go ; A-levelling all distinctions, and a-mingling high I'm even told that certain dukes will echo back and low :
TO A YOUNG PRINCESS.
(From Mrs. Norton's Scrap Book we copy some lines And nobody has time to help his neighbor in the by the author to the portrait of the Princess of Hohenlohe ditch!
Langenbourg, the Duchess of Kent's grandchild.]
A LOVELY, innocent, childlike face ; with a happy
smile and most artless grace ! folks I see!
away be the bitter hour, that shall wither, for Because in Pantomimes, a stool may turn to any. Glad be her heart for many a year, though her smile
her, life's blooming flower ;
must lose part of its radiance clear,
And that floating hair must be twisted and curled,
before she is fit for fashion's world! “A coffee-pot perhaps becomes a mitre by-and-by,And everything is something else—and nobody A Princess' life, old gossips say, is nothing but asks why ?
one long holyday, But there 's a rage for questioning, and meddling But the life of the people of fashion I've known, now-a-days;
seemed more laborious far than my own. And what one does, don't matter half so much as Toiling, racketing, visiting, shopping-in and out what one says ;
of their carriages poppingAnd a minister can't change his mind, without such Driving about, they scarcely know where and stir and fuss,
just as they get to Cavendish square,