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will, any instrument of renunciation, or any treaty. The same energy which the people of Castile had put forth when Madrid was occupied by the Allied armies, they would have again put forth as soon as it appeared that their country was about to become a province of France. Though they were no longer masters abroad, they were by no means disposed to see foreigners set over them at home. If Philip had become King of France, and had attempted to govern Spain by mandates from Versailles, a second Grand Alliance would easily have effected what the first had failed to accomplish. The Spanish nation would have rallied against him as zealously as it had before rallied round him. And of this he seems to have been fully aware. For many years the fa. vorite hope of his heart was, that he might ascend the throne of his grandfather; but he seems never to have thought it possible that he could reign at once in the country of his adoption, and in the country of his birth.
These were the dangers of the peace; and they seem to us to be of no very formidable kind. Against these dangers are to be set off the evils of war and the risk of failure. The evils of the war, - the waste of life, the suspension of trade, the expenditure of wealth, the accumulation of debt, - require no illustration. The chances of
failure it is difficult at this distance of time to calculate with accuracy. But we think that an estimate approximating to the truth, may, without much difficulty, be formed. The Allies had been victorious in Germany, Italy, and Flanders. It was by no means improbable that they might fight their way into the very heart of France. But at no time since the commencement of the war had their prospects been so dark in that country, which was the very object of the struggle. In Spain they held only a few square leagues. The temper of the great majority of the nation was decidedly hostile to them. If they had persisted, if they had obtained
It is true,
success equal to their highest expectations, if they had gained a series of victories as splendid as those of Blenheim and Ramilies, if Paris had fallen, if Louis had been a pris. oner, we still doubt whether they would have accomplished their object. They would still have had to carry on interminable hostilities against the whole population of a country which affords peculiar facilities to irregular warfare ; and in which invading armies suffer more from famine than from the sword.
We are, therefore, for the peace of Utrecht. that we by no means admire the statesmen who concluded that peace. Harley, we believe, was a solemn trifler, St. John a brilliant knave. The great body of their followers consisted of the country clergy and the country gentry ; two classes of men who were then immeasurably inferior in respectability and intelligence to decent shopkeepers or farmers of our time. Parson Barnabas, Parson Trulliber, Sir Wilful Witwould, Sir Francis Wronghead, Squire Western, Squire Sullen, - such were the people who composed the
, main strength of the Tory party for sixty years after the Revolution. It is true, that the means by which the Tories came into power in 1710, were most disreputable. It is true, that the manner in which they used their power was often unjust and cruel. It is true, that in order to bring about their favorite project of peace, they resorted to slander and deception, without the slightest scruple. It is true, that they passed off on the British nation a renunciation which they knew to be invalid. It is true, that they gave up the Catalans to the vengeance of Philip, in a manner inconsistent with humanity and national honor. But on the great ques. tion of Peace or War, we cannot but think that, though their motives may have been selfish and malevolent, their decision was beneficial to the state.
But we have already exceeded our limits. It remains
only for us to bid Lord Mahon heartily farewell, and to assure him, that whatever dislike we may feel for his political opinions, we shall always meet him with pleasure on the neutral ground of literature.
WALPOLE'S LETTERS TO SIR HORACE MANN.*
[Edinburgh Review, 1833.]
We cannot transcribe this titlepage without strong feelings of regret. The editing of these volumes was the last of the useful and modest services rendered to literature by a nobleman of amiable manners, of untarnished public and private character, and of cultivated mind. On this, as on other occasions, Lord Dover performed his part diligently, judiciously, and without the slightest ostentation. He had two merits, both of which are rarely found together in a commentator. He was content to be merely a commentator, — to keep in the background, and to leave the foreground to the author whom he had undertaken to illustrate. Yet, though willing to be an attendant, he was by no means a slave ; nor did he consider it as part of his editorial duty to see no faults in the writer to whom he faithfully and as. siduously rendered the humblest literary offices.
The faults of Horace Walpole's head and heart are indeed sufficiently glaring. His writings, it is true, rank as high among the delicacies of intellectual epicures as the Strasburgh pies among the dishes described in the Almanack des Gourmands. But, as the pâté-de-foie-gras owes its excellence to the diseases of the wretched animal which furnishes it, and would be good for nothing if it were not made of livers preternaturally swollen, so none but an unhealthy and disorganized mind could have produced such literary luxuries as the works of Walpole.
* Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford, to Sir Horace Mann, British Envoy at the Court of Tuscany. Now first published from the Originals in the possession of the Earl of WALDGRAVE. Edited by Lord Dover. 3 vols. 8vo. London : 1833.
He was, unless we have formed a very erroneous judg. ment of his character, the most eccentric, the most artificial, the most fastidious, the most capricious, of men. His mind was a bundle of inconsistent whims and affectations. His features were covered by mask within mask. When the outer disguise of obvious affectation was rem
emoved, you were still as far as ever from seeing the real man. He played innumerable parts, and overacted them all. When he talked misanthropy, he out-Timoned Timon. When he talked philanthropy, he left Howard at an immeasurable distance. He scoffed at Courts, and kept a chronicle of their most trifling scandal; at Society, and was blown about by its slightest veerings of opinion ; at Literary fame, and left fair copies of his private letters, with copious notes, to be pub. lished after his decease ; at Rank, and never for a moment forgot that he was an Honorable ; at the practice of Entail, and tasked the ingenuity of conveyancers to tie up his villa in the strictest settlement.
The conformation of his mind was such, that whatever was little, seemed to him great, and whatever was great, seemed to him little. Serious business was a trifle to him, and trifles were his serious business. To chat with blue. stockings; to write little copies of complimentary verses on little occasions ; to superintend a private press; to preserve from natural decay the perishable topics of Ranelagh and White's ; to record divorces and bets, Miss Chudleigh's absurdities, and George Selwyn's good sayings ; to decorate a grotesque house with pie-crust battlements; to procure rare engravings and antique chimney-boards; to match odd gauntlets ; to lay out a maze of walks within five acres of ground,- these were the grave employments of his long