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doctors, as poor Congreve's feet had must stop. Vanbrugh and Farquhar been when he suffered from the gout. are not men to be hastily dismissed, A monument was erected to the poet and we have not left ourselves space to in Westminster Abbey, with an inscrip- do them justice. tion written by the Duchess; and Lord Cobham honoured him with a cenotaph, which seems to us, though that is a bold word, the ugliest and most LORD HOLLAND. (JULY, 1841.) absurd of the buildings at Stowe.
The Opinions of Lord Holland, as recorded We have said that Wycherley was al in the Journals of the House of Lords, worse
from 1797 to 1841. Collected and edited a remarkable analogy between the writ
by D. C. MOYLAN, of Lincoln's Inn, Barings and lives of these two men. Both
rister-at-Law. 8vo. London: 1841. were gentlemen liberally educated. MANY reasons make it impossible for Both led town lives, and knew human us to lay before our readers, at the prenature only as it appears between Hyde sent moment, a complete view of the Park and the Tower. Both were men character and public career of the late of wit. Neither had much imagina- Lord Holland. But we feel that we tion. Both at an early age produced have already deferred too long the lively and profligate comedies. Both | duty of paying some tribute to his retired from the field while still in early memory. We feel that it is more manhood, and owed to their youthful becoming to bring without further deachievements in literature whatever lay an offering, though intrinsically of consideration they enjoyed in later life. little value, than to leave his tomb Both, after they had ceased to write longer without some token of our refor the stage, published volumes of mis- verence and love. cellanies which did little credit either We shall say very little of the book to their talents or to their morals. Both, which lies on our table. And yet it during their declining years, hung loose is a book which, even if it had been upon society; and both, in their last the work of a less distinguished man, moments, made eccentric and unjusti- or had appeared under circumstances fiable dispositions of their estates. less interesting, would have well repaid
But in every point Congreve main- an attentive perusal. It is valuable, tained his superiority to Wycherley. both as a record of principles and as a Wycherley had wit; but the wit of model of composition. We find in it Congreve far outshines that of every all the great maxims which, during comic writer, except Sheridan, who has more than forty years, guided Lord arisen within the last two centuries. Holland's public conduct, and the chief Congreve had not, in a large measure, reasons on which those maxims rest, the poetical faculty; but compared with condensed into the smallest possible Wycherley he might be called a great space, and set forth with admirable poet. Wycherley had some know- perspicuity, dignity, and precision. To ledge of books; but Congreve was a his opinions on Foreign Policy we for man of real learning. Congreve's the most part cordially assent; but, offences against decorum, though highly now and then we are inclined to think culpable, were not so gross as those of them imprudently generous. We could Wycherley ; nor did Congreve, like not have signed the protest against the Wycherley, exhibit to the world the detention of Napoleon. The Protest deplorable spectacle of a licentious respecting the course which England dotage. Congreve died in the enjoy- pursued at the Congress of Verona, ment of high consideration ; Wycher- though it contains much that is excelley forgotten or despised. Congreve's lent, contains also positions which, we will was absurd and capricious; but are inclined to think, Lord Holland Wycherley's last actions appear to have would, at a later period, have admitted been prompted by obdurate malignity. to be unsound. But to all his doctrines
Here, at least for the present, we on constitutional questions, we give our hearty approbation; and we firmly be- the House of which he was the head lieve that no British government has belongs one distinction which we beever deviated from that line of internal lieve to be without a parallel in our policy which he has traced, without annals. During more ihan a century, detriment to the public.
there has never been a time at which a We will give, as a specimen of this Fox has not stood in a prominent stalittle volume, a single passage, in which tion among public men. Scarcely had a chief article of the political creed of the chequered career of the first Lord the Whigs is stated and explained, Holland closed, when his son, Charles, with singular clearness, force, and bre- rose to the head of the Opposition, and vity. Our readers will remember that, to the first rank among English dein 1825, the Catholic Association raised baters. And before Charles was borne the cry of emancipation with most for- to Westminster Abbey a third Fox had midable effect. The Tories acted after already become one of the most contheir kind. Instead of removing the spicuous politicians in the kingdom. grievance they tried to put down the It is impossible not to be struck by agitation, and brought in a law, appa- the strong family likeness which, in rently sharp and stringent, but in truth spite of diversities arising from educautterly impotent, for restraining the tion and position, appears in these three right of petition. Lord Holland's Pro- distinguished persons. In their faces test on that occasion is excellent. and figures there was a resemblance,
“ We are,” says he, “well aware that the such as is common enough in novels, privileges of the people, the rights of free where one picture is good for ten genediscussion, and the spirit and letter of our popular institutions, must render, - and they are intended to render,-the continuance of an extensive grievance, and of the dissatisfaction consequent thereupon, dangerous to the tranquillity of the country, and ultimately subversive of the authority
it; the expression, so singularly comof the state. Experience and theory alike / pounded of sense, humour, courage, forbid us to deny that effect of a free con- openness, a strong will and a sweet stitution; a sense of justice and a love of
But the liberty equally deter us from lamenting it. temper, were common to all. But we have always been taught to look for features of the founder of the House, the remedy of such disorders in the redress as the pencil of Reynolds and the of the grievances which justify them, and chisel of Nollekens have handed them in the removal of the dissatisfaction from which they flow-not in restraints on an- down to us, were disagreeably harsh cient privileges, not in inroads on the right and exaggerated. In his descendants, of public discussion, nor in violations of the the
the aspect was preserved, but it was principles of a free government. If, therefore, the legal method of seeking redress,
softened, till it became, in the late lord, which has been resorted to by persons the most gracious and interesting counlabouring under grievous disabilities, be
tenance that was ever lighted up by fraught with immediate or remote danger to the state, we draw from that circum- the mingled lustre of intelligence and stance a conclusion long since foretold by great authority-namely, that the British As it was with the faces of the men constitution, and large exclusions, cannot subsist together; that the constitution must destroy them, or they will destroy the con- with their minds. Nature had done stitution."
much for them all. She had moulded It was not, however, of this little them all of that clay of which she is most book, valuable and interesting as it is, sparing. To all she had given strong but of the author, that we meant to reason and sharp wit, a quick relish for speak; and we will try to do so with every physical and intellectual enjoycalmness and impartiality
ment, constitutional intrepidity, and that In order to fully appreciate the cha- frankness by which constitutional intreracter of Lord Holland, it is necessary pidity is generally accompanied, spirits to go far back into the history of his which nothing could depress, tempers family; for he had inherited something easy, generous, and placable, and that more than a coronet and an estate. To I genial courtesy which has its seat in
the heart, and of which artificial po- | out scruple, the most immoral and the liteness is only a faint and cold imita- most unconstitutional manners ; as a tion. Such a disposition is the richest man perfectly fitted, by all his opinions inheritance that ever was entailed on and feelings, for the work of managing any family.
the Parliament by means of secretBut training and situation greatly service-money, and of keeping down modified the fine qualities which na- the people with the bayonet. Many of ture lavished with such profusion on his contemporaries had a morality three generations of the house of Fox. quite as lax as his: but very few among The first Lord Holland was a needy them had his talents, and none had political adventurer. He entered pub- his hardihood and energy. He could lic life at a time when the standard of not, like Sandys and Doddington, find integrity among statesmen was low. safety in contempt. He therefore beHe started as the adherent of a mi. came an object of such general avernister who had indeed many titles to sion as no statesman since the fall of respect, who possessed eminent talents Strafford has incurred, of such general both for administration and for debate, aversion as was probably never in any who understood the public interest country incurred by a man of so kind well, and who meant fairly by the and cordial a disposition. A weak country, but who had seen so much mind would have sunk under such a perfidy and meanness that he had be- load of unpopularity. But that resocome sceptical as to the existence of lute spirit seemed to derive new firmprobity. Weary of the cant of pa- ness from the public hatred. The only triotism, Walpole had learned to talk effect which reproaches appeared to a cant of a different kind. Disgusted produce on him, was to sour, in some by that sort of hypocrisy which is at degree, his naturally sweet temper. least a homage to virtue, he was too The last acts of his public life were much in the habit of practising the marked, not only by that audacity less respectable hypocrisy which os- which he had derived from nature, not tentatiously displays, and sometimes only by that immorality which he had even simulates vice. To Walpole Fox learned in the school of Walpole, but attached himself, politically and per- by a harshness which almost amounted sonally, with the ardour which be- to cruelty, and which had never been longed to his temperament. And it supposed to belong to his character. is not to be denied that in the school His severity increased the unpopularity of Walpole he contracted faults which from which it had sprung. The welldestroyed the value of his many great known lampoon of Gray may serve as endowments. He raised himself, in- a specimen of the feeling of the coundeed, to the first consideration in the try. All the images are taken from House of Commons; he became a con- shipwrecks, quicksands, and cormosummate master of the art of debate ; rants. Lord Holland is represented as he attained honours and immense complaining, that the cowardice of his wealth ; but the public esteem and accomplices had prevented him from confidence were withheld from him. putting down the free spirit of the His private friends, indeed, justly ex- city of London by sword and fire, and tolled his generosity and good nature. as pining for the time when birds of They maintained that in those parts prey should make their nests in Westof his conduct which they could least minster Abbey, and unclean beasts defend there was nothing sordid, and burrow in St. Paul's. that, if he was misled, he was misled Within a few months after the death by amiable feelings, by a desire to of this remarkable man, his second serve his friends, and by anxious ten- son Charles appeared at the head of derness for his children. But by the the party opposed to the American nation he was regarded as a man of War. Charles had inherited the bo. insatiable rapacity and desperate am- dily and mental constitution of his bition ; as a man ready to adopt, with- father, and had been much, far too
much, under his father's influence. It worse than theirs. He had one great was indeed impossible that a son of so advantage over them. He received affectionate and noble a nature should a good political education. The first not have been warmly attached to a lord was educated by Sir Robert Walparent who possessed many fine qua- pole. Mr. Fox was educated by his lities, and who carried his indulgence father. The late lord was educated by. and liberality towards his children even Mr. Fox. The pernicious maxims early to a culpable extent. Charles saw that imbibed by the first Lord Holland, the person to whom he was bound by made his great talents useless, and the strongest ties was, in the highest worse than useless, to the state. The degree, odious to the nation; and the pernicious maxims early imbibed by effect was what might have been ex. Mr. Fox, led him, at the commencepected from the strong passions and ment of his public life, into great faults constitutional boldness of so high- which, though afterwards nobly exspirited a youth. He cast in his lot piated, were never forgotten. To the with his father, and took, while still a very end of his career, small men, when boy, a deep part in the most unjustifi- they had nothing else to say in defence able and unpopular measures that had of their own tyranny, bigotry, and imbeen adopted since the reign of James becility, could always raise a cheer by the Second. In the debates on the some paltry taunt about the election Middlesex Election, he distinguished of Colonel Luttrell, the imprisonment himself, not only by his precocious of the lord mayor, and other measures powers of eloquence, but by the vehe- in which the great Whig leader had ment and scornful manner in which he borne a part at the age of one or two bade defiance to public opinion. He and twenty. On Lord Holland no was at that time regarded as a man such slur could be thrown. Those likely to be the most formidable cham- who most dissent from his opinions pion of arbitrary government that must acknowledge that a public life had appeared since the Revolution, to more consistent is not to be found in be a Bute with far greater powers, a our annals. Every part of it is in perMansfield with far greater courage. fect harmony with every other part; Happily his father's death liberated and the whole is in perfect harmony him early from the pernicious influence with the great principles of toleration by which he had been misled. His and civil freedom. This rare felicity mind expanded. His range of obser- is in a great measure to be attributed vation became wider. His genius to the influence of Mr. Fox. Lord broke through early prejudices. His Holland, as was natural in a person of natural benevolence and magnanimity his talents and expectations, began at had fair play. In a very short time a very early age to take the keenest he appeared in a situation worthy of interest in politics; and Mr. Fox found his understanding and of his heart. the greatest pleasure in forming the From a family whose name was asso- mind of so hopeful a pupil. They corciated in the public mind with tyranny responded largely on political subjects and corruption, from a party of which when the young lord was only sixteen; the theory and the practice were equally and their friendship and mutual conservile, from the midst of the Luttrells, fidence continued to the day of that the Dysons, the Barringtons, came mournful separation at Chiswick. Unforth the greatest parliamentary de- der such training such a man as Lord fender of civil and religious liberty. Holland was in no danger of falling
The late Lord Holland succeeded to into those faults which threw a dark the talents and to the fine natural dis- shade over the whole career of his positions of his House. But his si- grandfather, and from which the youth tuation was very different from that of of his uncle was not wholly free. the two eminent men of whom we On the other hand, the late Lord have spoken. In some important re- Holland, as compared with his grand. spects it was better, in some it was father and his uncle, laboured under one
great disadvantage. They were mem- | distinguished in debate than any peer bers of the House of Commons. He of his time who had not sat in the became a Peer while still an infant. House of Commons. Nay, to find his When he entered public life, the House equal among persons similarly situof Lords was a very small and a very ated, we must go back eighty years decorous assembly. The minority to to Earl Granville. For Mansfield, which he belonged was scarcely able to Thurlow, Loughborough, Grey, Grenmuster five or six votes on the most ville, Brougham, Plunkett, and other important nights, when eighty or eminent men, living and dead, whom ninety lords were present. Debate we will not stop to enumerate, carried had accordingly become a mere form, to the Upper House an eloquence as it was in the Irish House of Peers formed and matured in the Lower. before the Union. This was a great The opinion of the most discerning misfortune to a man like Lord Holland. judges was that Lord Holland's oratorIt was not by occasionally addressing ical performances, though sometimes fifteen or twenty solemn and unfriendly most successful, afforded no fair meaauditors, that his grandfather and his sure of his oratorical powers, and that, uncle attained their unrivalled parlia- in an assembly of which the debates mentary skill. The former had learned were frequent and animated, he would his art in the great Walpolean bat- have attained a very high order of extles," on nights when Onslow was in cellence. It was, indeed, impossible to the chair seventeen hours without in- listen to his conversation without seeing termission, when the thick ranks on that he was born a debater. To him, both sides kept unbroken order till long as to his uncle, the exercise of the after the winter sun had risen upon mind in discussion was a positive pleathem, when the blind were led out by sure. With the greatest good nature the hand into the lobby and the para- and good breeding, he was the very lytic laid down in their bed-clothes on opposite to an assenter. The word the benches. The powers of Charles “disputatious” is generally used as a Fox were, from the first, exercised in word of reproach ; but we can express conflicts not less exciting. The great our meaning only by saying that Lord talents of the late Lord Holland had Holland was most courteously and no such advantage. This was the more pleasantly disputatious. In truth, his unfortunate, because the peculiar species quickness in discovering and appreof eloquence which belonged to him in hending distinctions and analogies was common with his family required much such as a veteran judge might envy. practice to develope it. With strong The lawyers of the Duchy of Lancaster sense, and the greatest readiness of wit, were astonished to find in an unprofesa certain tendency to hesitation was sional man so strong a relish for the hereditary in the line of Fox. This esoteric parts of their science, and comhesitation arose, not from the poverty, plained that as soon as they had split but from the wealth of their vocabu- à hair, Lord Holland proceeded to lary. They paused, not from the dif- split the filaments into filaments still ficulty of finding one expression, but finer. In a mind less happily constifrom the difficulty of choosing between tuted, there might have been a risk several. It was only by slow degrees that this turn for subtilty would have and constant exercise that the first produced serious evil. But in the heart Lord Holland and his son overcame and understanding of Lord Holland the defect. Indeed neither of them there was ample security against all overcame it completely.
such danger. He was not a man to be In statement, the late Lord Holland the dupe of his own ingenuity. He was not successful; his chief excellence put his logic to its proper use; and in lay in reply. He had the quick eye of him the dialectician was always subhis house for the unsound parts of an ordinate to the statesman. argument, and a great felicity in ex-! His political life is written in the posing them. He was decidedly more chronicles of his country. Perhaps, as