Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Death of Mr. Pelham : Instability of his successors, the Duke of Newcastle, and Mr. Fox (late Lord Holland] : Mr. Pitt appointed Secretary of State : His dismission. Chap. III. Coali. tion of parties : Mr. Pitt's administration : Progress of the war : Campaign of 1759: Fruitless negociations of peace. Chap. IV, Origin of war with Spain : Death of King George II.: Cabals of Lord Bute: Mr. Pite's resignation : Critique of his administration. Chap. V. History of the GREAT COMMONER: Administration of Lord Bute: Campaign of 1762: Peace of Paris : Mr. Grenville's administration : Lord Rockingham's : Affair of General Warrants : Of the Stamp-Act. Chap. VI. Mr. Pito Lord Privy Seal, and Earl of Chatham: His coadjutors in administration : Measures of government : Lord °C. withdraws: American taxation renewed : Middlesex election: Shelburne and Chatham resign: Subsequent transactions. Chap. VII, Lord C. takes the lead of Opposition : Appointment of Lord North: Falkland Islands : Imprisonment of the Lord Mayor: Encroachments of the East India Company: Riot at Boston: Penal acts of parliament. Chap. VIII. Meeting of the General Congress: Lord C.'s conciliatory plan : Coercive measures pursued : Commencement of the American war : Declaration of independency : Campaign of 1776 : Expedition from Canada. Chap. IX. Fourth session of the 3d Parliament of George III. : Address to the throne : Enquiry into the state of the nation : Transaction with Lord Bute : Lord Norch's conciliatory bills: Treaty between France and America avowed: Debate concerning the independency of America : Lord C.'s death and character.

The extracts we shall make from the present performance are those which we think will thew the Writer to the best advantage, and at the same time afford most entertainment to our Readers. The following is his delineation of the characters of some eminent statesmen:

Lord Carteret. “He was possessed of the finest abilities, the most elegant taite, the most splendid eloquence. All the treasures of polite literature were his own; and be perfectly underflood the intereits and politics of every court of Europe. In a word had his integrity kepe pace with his talents, he was formed to be the brighteit ornament of the court in which he lived. His patronage mighe have given new vigour to the literature, and his political skill new luttre to the annals of Britain.'

The Duke of Newcastle. His abilities, perhaps, were of the fleodereit form that were ever hazarded in fo important a ftation. He was chiefly diftinguited for his unfeigned attachment to the hooft of Brunswic, and as one of the leaders of the Whig party. He was not however deficient either in pride or ambition. It was his delighe to be furrounded with a crowd of dependants, and to appear distracted with a multiplicity of business. His manners were thole of buliling

X 4

importance. importance. His judgment was confused, headlong, and abrupt, At the same time he was personally disinterested. And the partiality which every man feels for his own talents, may well be supposed to have hindered him from suspecting that the desire he felt, to engross the direction of affairs could poslibly be productive of any detriment to his country'

Lord Bute. His temper was recluse and reserved. The sciences, to which he was attached, were those that confift in cold and minute investigation. He was helitating, prevaricating, and timid; the qualities that form the discriminating character of a ftudent. The library, and not the cabinet, was the scene for which nature bad defined him. In the mean time he was sensible to the goad of ambition. With that conceit of his own talents, which folicude is calculated to inspire, he formed no less a plan than to drive from the helm of affairs the most popular-I had almost said, the ablelt minifter by whom it was ever guided ; and to seize once for all the government of a mighty kingdom.'

Marquis of Rockingham. • He was " mild but determined." Without portelling the elevation of genius, his views of every subject were illuminated with the rays of virtue, and ascertained with the manliness of truth. When all about him was uproar and confusion, when beaven from above threatened, and earth trembled under bis feet, he was perfecily serene and collected. Efranged to the violence of she pallions, his measures were dictated by the purest benevolence.'

Lord Norib. • If this nobleman had never poseed so conspicuous a polt, one may almoft venture to say his abilities would never have been thought of. His politics have surely had sufficient trial; and the event hath decided upon their merit. His boalled skill in finance seems to have partaken of the nature of fairy money; and when it was called into use, vanished from the couch. If he had any abilities, it appears to have been in debate. At the same time, his voice was harth, and his manner unwieldy. His speeches were never illuminated by one ray of genius; and when he aimed at animation, he became an object for laughter. But be poffefied a sleepiness and a phlegm from which it was just possible for him to be roused. The Philippics of Opposition feldom broke in upon his repose. And as they simply played upon the surface of his brain, without wounding his mind, he was able to retort them with a buffoonery that was admired, because it was unresembled. He had the first-rate quality of being able to talk long without embarrassment. He was able too to fare a matter of complicated calculation with considerable clearness. To this respect, the day in which he opened the budget was the very acme of his glory! In some things his Lordship resembled Mr. George Grenville, one of his predecessors. Lord Chatham had ever considered this man as a useful drudge; and acknowledged, that he had been frequently indeb:ed to his researches. Lord North had served the witty, the volatile Mr. Charles Townshend in the same capacity: and tbat gentleman is said to have entertained a similar contempe for him. In one respect, however, the nobleman in question was perfectly oppo. fite to his predecessor. Mr. Grenville was Ihrewd, sagacious and ioflexible. Lord North seemed to have no sentiments of his own. He maintained, with the same vavaried countenance, a sykem to day the very oppofite of the system of yefterday. Like the Desdemona of Othello's diftempered imagination, he could turn and tura, and yet go on." He seems to have had no objection to the execution of mea. Tures, which at the same time he professed to disapprove. I am afraid, chis is the very worst feature that can belong to a political cha. racter.'

At the conclusion of this work, the Author exerts all his powers to delineate his favourite character. Here fancy strains ber wing, and invention is on the rack, for colours to gild it. The eye is, however, dazzled by the glare thrown on it; and turns away with weariness and disgust.

The following panegyric on Lord Chatham's eloquence is sufficient, in the judgment of all cool and dispassionate Readers, to justify the censure we have passed on this Historian's manner of writing, when brimfull of his .GODLIKE'hero! It closes the volume, and with it we shall close our account of it.

• Pofterity will hardly be persuaded that in the meagreness of mo. dern times a Demosthenes Thould have exifted without his Æschines, and a Cicero without an Hortenfius and a Cæsar. Pofterity will hardly be perfuaded that one man could have concentered the arduous characters of the greateit faresman and the most accomplished rbe. turicion that ever lived. (Rbitorician!] In a word, posterity will with difficulty believe the felicity of Britain; that Lord Chatham was among the orators, what Shakespeare is among the poers of every age. * The child of Fancy, he warbled his irregular notes, that Na. cure gave,” with so sweet a grace, as turned the cheek of envy pale, and drove refinement and trammelled science into oward fight. Honeyed music dropped unbroken from his lips. Had he, like his great predeceffor, addressed his effufions to the troubled waves, the troubled waves had suspended themselves to listen. (Forget not, Read. er, that this is a bifory!) His lips were cloashed with inspiration and prophecy. Sublimity on bis tongue fac ro enveloped in beauty, that it seemed unsconscious of itself. I fell upon us unexpected ; it took us by surprise, and, like the fearful whirlpool, is drew every usderstanding and every heart into its vortex.'

The Author rests his appeal with POSTERITY.-Posterity will say much of Lord Chatham; but not a word of this History of his Life.

ART. VUI. Four Letters on important national Subjects: addressed to

the Right Honourable the Earl of Shelburne. By Jfiah Tucker, D.D. Dean of Gloucester. 8vo.

Cadell. 1783.

23.

A

sprinkled with a little theology, and dashed frequently with abusive acrimony-especially when the Dean views the lift of Lockian heroes-the doughty champions of the republican cause!' His resentment, we perceive, gets the better of the contempt he affeals for his numerous answerers; and be

cause

cause he is fore from their attacks, he calumniates their principles. • By the help of that equivocal phrale REVOLUTIONAL PRINCIPLES (which never ought to fignify any thing more than that the governed, in cases of the last extremity, and after all other means have been tried in vain, have a right to have recourse to their last remedy, namely, to depose their governors, and chuse others], I say by the help of these ambiguous words, fuch doctrines have been inceffantly cultivated, as tend to overturn every government upon earth, without erecting or establishing any." Though a good argument will maintain its ground without the help of metaphors, fimilies, and allusions, yet, when properly introduced, they are always considered as an ornament. They illustrate, if they do not prove. In this view, we cannot fufficiently admire the beauty and force of the following comparifon. • The Sun is twelve months in performing its revolution : the Moon is one month. But, if our modern doctrines should prevail, if the arbitrium popularis auræ is to be the only reguJator' - and what then? -“Why, undoubtedly, the course of " the Sun and Moon will be altered as often as the restless and

capricious spirit of republicanism thall think proper.”—Very true. But what Sun and Moon do you suppole subject to these untoward vici litudes ? -" Why, the Sun and Moon spoken of “ before.”- Read on and you will find another Sun and another Moon conjured up like spirits from the vasly deep. 'If the arbitrium popularis auræ is to be the only regulator of the revolution of our political Suns and Moons, probably the government must be changed as often as once a fortnight, if not oftener.' What a fine thing is a simile !

The fir Letter gives an account of some private conversation between Lord Shelburne and Dean Tucker, at his Lordship's feat in Wiltshire; in which the one vainly boasted of the confequence of the great statesman, and the other proudly affected the disinterestedness of the flurdy patriot. Having considered America as much indebted to the illustrious band, the boncurable fraternity, of which his Lordhip hath been a most diftinguilhed member,' the Dean puts in his claim for a share in the honour. 'I am glad of the general event, though not of the particular circumftances attending it, as the moft Aaming republicans :- I say, I am glad that America bath declared herself independent of us, though for reasons very oppofite to their's. America, I have proved beyond the possibility of a confutation, ever was a millitone hanging about the neck of this country to weigh it down : and as we ourselves had not the wisdom to cut the rope, and to let the burden fall off, the Americans have kindly done it for us.'

The Dean very often throws his prophecies in our teeth.Did I not tell you fo?-But though fo fage and oracular with

respect respect to America, he hath the modesty to declare, that the fate of Ireland hath not been so clearly revealed to him. He is reduced to fimple conjecture: but conjecture seems at last to grow into prediction, for a man given to prophecy cannot avoid fuch emphatic hints, as shew at least what he thinks of himself, though he qualifies it by saying " You may think as you pleale, but"

But What i-Where is the mighty wonder?

Do not the hist'ries of all ages
Relate miraculous presages
Of strange turns in the world's affairs
Foreseen by astrologers, foothsayers,
Chaldeans, learned Genechliacks,
And some that have wric almanacs ?

HUDIBRAS. The second Letter treats of the evil consequences of debafing the regal influence, and exalting the aristocratical or the popular beyond their due proportion. In this paper the Dean makes use of the argumentum ad hominem-particularly under the head of Infiuence. Influence is inseparable from the conduct of human affairs. It is essential to government. Lord Shelburne hath two boroughs; Lord Rockingham two; Lord Holland one, &c. &c. &c. Good influence ought to be encouraged : bad influence ought as much as poffible to be discouraged.' But who are to judge when it is good and when it is bad? This question would as much embarrals the Dean, as another formed on his own conceffion, respecting the interference of the governed in cases of the last extremity. When may an extremity be called the last? Who are to judge and determine in this case? What number of the governed may warrant the deposition of the governor? How are we to take an estimate of that number? Let the Dean specifically answer these questions; and let him take care of the argumentum ad hominem. Let him take care left he, who by propofition is a Tory, should, unfortunately, by inference, turn out a Whig!-a doughty champion of republicanism - a member of the illustrious band of Lockian heroes ! - How (to use his own words) would be like such revolutional principles as these? Ex ore tuo!!

The third Letter treats of the manifold bad consequences of disturbing the public peace and tranquillity, under the pretence of securing a more equal representation of the people in parlia. ment. Here the Dean makes a speech ;--but he doth not appear to feel who is the chief object of ridicule. Not the 5 lodgers, inmates, footmen, watermen, bargemen, black-íhoes, chimney-sweepers, who have all, all a right, an unalienable right, to vote' --and will the Dean deny that they have this right in some of the most important boroughs in the kingdom ?

Do

« AnteriorContinuar »