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man of his time ; and he had made England the first country in the world. The Great Communer, the name by which he was often designated, inight look down with scorn on coronets and garters. Thu nation was drunk with joy and pride. The Parliament was ilg quiet as it had been under Pelham. The old party distinctions were almost effaced ; nor was their place yet supplied by distinctions of a still inore important kind. A new generation of country squires and rectors had arisen who knew not the Stuarts. The Dissenters were tolerated; the Catholics not cruelly persecuted. The Church was drowsy and indulgent. The great civil and religious conflict which began at the Refornation seemed to have terminated in universal repose. Whigs and Tories, Churchmen' and Puritans, spoke with equal reverence of the constitution, and with equal enthusiasm of the talents, virtues, and services of the Minister.
A few years sufficed to change the whole aspect of affairs... A nation convulsed by faction, a throne assailed by the fiercest invective, a House of Commons hated and despised by the nation, England set against Scotland, Britain set against America, a rival legislature sitting beyond the Atlantic, English blood shed by English bayonets, our armies capitulating, our conqueşts wrested from us, our enemies hastening to take vengeance for past humiliation, our flag scarcely able to maintain itself in our own scas, such was the spectuclo which Pitt lived to see. But the history of this great revolution requires far more space than we tan at present bestow. We leave the Great Commoner in the zenith of his glory. It is not impossible that we may take some other opportunity of tracing his life to to melancholly, yet not inglorious close.
SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH.:
(Edinburgh Review, July, 1835.)
It is with unfeigned diffidence that we venture to give our opinion of the last work of Sir James Mackintosh. We have in vain tried to perform what ought to be to a critic an easy and habitual act. We have in vain tried to separate the book from the writer, and to judge of it as if it bore some unknown name. But it is to no purpose. All the lines of that venerable countenance are before us. All the little peculiar cadences of that voice from which scholars and statesmen loved to receive the lessons of a serene and benevolent
i Thistory of the Revolution in England, in 1888. Comprising a View of The Reign of James the Second, from his Accession to the Enterprise of the Prince of Orange, by the Inte Right Honourable Sir JAMES MACKINTOSH; and compleled to the Settlement of the Crown, by the Editor. To which is mafixed a Notice of the Lifo, Writings, and Speeches of Sir James Mackin losh. 4to. London: 1884."
• In this review, as it originally stood, the editor of the History of the Revolution was attacked with an asperity which neither literary defects oor speculative differences can justify, and which ought to be reserved for offences against the laws of morality and honour. The reviewer was not actuated by any feeling of personal malevolenco: for when he wrote this paper in a distant country, he did not know, or even guess, whom ho was assailing. His only motive was regnrd for the memory of an emivent Man whom he loved and honoured, and who appeared to him to havo been anworthily treated.
The editor is now dead; and, whil living, declared that he bad been misorderstood, and that he had written in no spirit of enmity to Sir James Mackintosh, for whom he professed the highest respect.
Many passages have therefore been sostened, and some wholly omittod. The sovero censure passed on the literary execution of the Memoir and tho Cuntinuation could not be retracted without a violation of truth. But whatever could be construed into an imputation on the moral olarmotor at the editor his boon carefully expunged.
wisdoin are in our ears. We will attempt to preserve strict impartiality. But we are not ashamed to own that we approach this relic of a virtuous and most accomplished man with feelings of respect and gratituda which may possibly pervert our judgment.
It is hardly possible to avoid instituting a com. parison between this work and another celebrated Fragment. Our readers will easily guess that we allude to Mr. Fox's History of James the Second. The two books relate to the same subject. Both were posthumously published. Neither had received the last corrections. The authors belonged to the same political party, and held the same opinions concerning the merits and defects of the English constitution, and concerning most of the prominent characters and events in English history. Both had thought much on the principles of government; yet they were not mere speculators. Both had ransacked the archives of rival kingdoms, and pored on folios which had mouldered for ages in deserted libraries; yet they were not mere antiquaries. They had one eminent qualification for writing history: they had spoken history, acted history, lived history. The turns of political fortune, the ebb and flow of popular feeling, the hidden mechanism by which parties are moved, all these things were the subjects of their constant thought and of their most familiar conversation. Gibbon has remarked that he owed part of his success as a historian to the observations which he had mado as an officer in the inilitia and as a member of the House of Commons. The remark is most just. We have not the smallest doubt that his campaign, though he never saw an enemy, and his parliamentary attendince, though he never made a speech, were of far
more use to him than years of retirement and study would have been. If the time that he spent on parade and at mess in Hampshire, or on the Treasury bench and at Brookes's during the storms which overthrew Lord North and Lord Shelburne, had been passed in the Bodleian Library, he might have avoided somo inaccuracies; he might have enriched his notes with a greater number of references ; but he wonld never have produced so lively a picture of the court, the camp, and the senate-house. In this respect Mr. Fox and Sir James Mackintosh had great advantages over almost every English historian who has written since the time of Burnet. Lord Lyttelton had indeed the same advantages; but he was incapable of using them. Pedantry was so deeply fixed in his nature that the hustings, the Treasury, the Exchequer, the House of Commons, the House of Lords, left him the same dreaming schoolboy that they found him.
When we compare the two interesting works of which we have been speaking, we have little difficulty in giving the preference to that of Sir James Mackintosh. · Indeed the superiority of Mr. Fox to Sir James as an orator is hardly more clear than the superiority of Sir James to Mr. Fox as an historian. Mr. Fox with a pen in his hand, and Sir James on his legs in the House of Commons, were, we think, each out of his proper element.
element. They were men, it is true, of far too much judgment and ability to fail scandalously in uny undertaking to which they brought the whole power of their minds. The history of James the Second will always keep its place in our libraries as
valuable book; and Sir James Mackintosh succeeded in winning and maintaining a high place among the parliamentary speakers of his tine. Yet we could
never read a page of Mr. Fox's writing, we could never listen for a quarter of an hour to the speaking of Sir James, without feeling that there was a constant effort, a tug up hill. Nature, or habit which had become nature, asserted its rights. Mr. Fox wrote debates. Sir James Mackintosh spoke essays.
As far as mere diction was concerned, indeed, Mr. Fox did his best to avoid those faults which the habit of public speaking is likely to generate.
He was so nervously apprehensive of sliding into some colloquial incorrectness, of debasing his style by a mixture of pais liamentary slang, that he ran into the opposite error, and purified his vocabulary with a scrupulosity unknown to any purist. “ Ciceronem Allobroga dixit.” He would not allow Addison, Bolingbroke, or Middleton to be a sufficient authority for an expression. He declared that he would use no word which was not to be found in Dryden. In any other person we should have called this solicitude inere foppery ; and, in spite of all our admiration for Mr. Fox, we cannot but think that his extreme attention to the petty niceties of language was hardly worthy of so manly and so capacious an understanding. There were purists of this kind at Rome; and their fastidiousness was censured by Horace, with that perfect good sense and good taste which characterize all his writings. There were purists of this kind at the time of the revival of letters; and the two greatest scholars of that time raised their voices, the one from within, the other from without the Alps, against a scrupulosity so unreasonable, “Carent," said Politian, “quæ scribunt isti viribus et vita, carent actu, carent effectu, carent indole. ..... Nisi liber ille præsto sit ex quo quid excerpant, colligere tria verba non possunt.
Horum seinper igitur oratio tremula, vacillans,