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tempt on all who pretended to public spirit. The name of patriot had become a byword of derision. Horace Walpole scarcely exaggerated when he said, that in those times, the most popular declaration which a candidate could make on the hustings was, that he had never been and never would be a patriot. At this conjuncture took place the rebellion of the Highland clans. The alarm produced by that event quieted the strife of internal factions. The suppression of the insurrection crushed for ever the spirit of the Jacobite party. Room was made in the Government for a few Tories. Peace was patched up with France and Spain. Death removed the Prince of Wales, who had contrived to keep together a small portion of that formidable opposition, of which he had been the leader in the time of Sir Robert Walpole. Almost every man of weight in the House of Commons was officially connected with the Government. The even tenor of the session of Parliament was ruffled only by an occasional harangue from Lord Egmont on the army estimates. For the first time since the accession of the Stuarts there was no opposition. This singular good fortune, denied to the ablest statesmen, - to Salisbury, to Strafford, to Clarendon, to Walpole, - had been reserved for the Pelhans.
Henry Pelham, it is true, was by no means a contemptible person. His understanding was that of Walpole on a somewhat smaller scale. Though not a brilliant orator, he was, like his master, a good debater, a good parliamentary tactician, a good man of business. Like his master, he distin. guished himself by the neatness and clearness of his finan. cial expositions. Here the resemblance ceased. Their characters were altogether dissimilar. Walpole was goodhumored, but would have his way: his spirits were high, and his manners frank even to coarseness. The temper of Pelham was yielding, but peevish : his habits were regular,
and his deportment strictly decorous. Walpole was constitutionally fearless, Pelham constitutionally timid. Walpole had to face a strong opposition ; but no man in the government durst wag a finger against him. Almost all the opposition which Pelham had, was from members of the gov. ernment of which he was the head. His own paymaster spoke against his estimates. His own secretary at war spoke against his Regency Bill. In one day Walpole turned Lord Chesterfield, Lord Burlington, and Lord Clinton, out of the royal household, dismissed the highest dignitaries of Scotland from their posts, and took away the regiments of the Duke of Bolton and Lord Cobham, because he suspected them of having encouraged the resistance to his Excise Bill. He would far rather have contended with a strong minority, under able leaders, than have tolerated mutiny in his own party. It would have gone hard with any of his colleagues who had ventured to divide the House of Commons against him. Pelham, on the other hand, was disposed to bear any. thing rather than drive from office any man round whom a new opposition could form, He therefore endured with fretful patience the insubordination of Pitt and Fox. He thought it far better to connive at their occasional infractions of discipline, than to hear them, night after night, thundering against corruption and wicked ministers from the other side of the House.
We wonder that Sir Walter Scott never tried his hand on the Duke of Newcastle. An interview between his Grace and Jeanie Deans would have been delightful, and by no means unnatural. There is scarcely any public man in our history, of whose manners and conversation so many par. ticulars have been preserved. Single stories may be unfounded or exaggerated. But all the stories, whether told by people who were perpetually seeing him in Parliament, and attending his levee in Lincoln's Inn Fields, or by Grub
Street writers, who never had more than a glimpse of his star through the windows of his gilded coach, are of the same character. Horace Walpole and Smollett differed in their tastes and opinions as much as two human beings could differ. They kept quite different society. The one played at cards with countesses, and corresponded with ambassadors. The other passed his life surrounded by a knot of famished scribblers. Yet Walpole's Duke, and Smollett's Duke, are as like as if they were both from one hand. Smollett's Newcastle runs out of his dressingroom, with his face covered with soap-suds, to embrace the Moorish envoy. Walpole's Newcastle pushes his way into the Duke of Grafton's sick room, to kiss the old nobleman's plasters. No man was ever so unmercifully satirized. But in truth he was himself a satire ready made. All that the art of the satirist does for other ridiculous men, nature had done for him. Whatever was absurd about him stood out with grotesque prominence from the rest of the character. He was a living, moving, talking, caricature. His gait was a shuffling trot; his utterance a rapid stutter ; he was always in a hurry; he was never in time; he abounded in fulsome caresses and in hysterical tears. His oratory resembled that of Justice Shallow. It was nonsense effervescent with ani. mal spirits and impertinence. Of his ignorance many anece dotes remain, some well authenticated, some probably invented at coffee-houses, but all exquisitely characteristic. "Oh — yes — yes — to be sure - Annapolis must be defend. ed -- troops must be sent to Annapolis — Pray where is Annapolis ? -Cape Breton an island ! wonderful show it me in the map. So it is, sure enough. My dear Sir, you always bring us good news. I must go and tell the King that Cape Breton is an island.'
And this man was, during nearly thirty years, Secretary of State, and, during nearly ten years, First Lord of the
Treasury! His large fortune, his strong hereditary connexion, his great Parliamentary interest, will not alone explain this extraordinary fact. His success is a signal instance of what may be effected by a man who devotes his whole heart and soul without reserve to one object. He was eaten up by ambition. His love of influence and authority resembled the avarice of the old Usurer in the Fortunes of Nigel.' It was so intense a passion, that it supplied the place of talents, that it inspired even fatuity with cunning. * Have no money dealings with my father,' says Martha to Lord Glenvarloch ; • for, dotard as he is, he will make an ass of you.' It was as dangerous to have any political connexion with Newcastle, as to buy and sell with old Trapbois. He was greedy after power with a greediness all his
He was jealous of all his colleagues, and even of his own brother. Under the disguise of levity he was false beyond all example of political falsehood. All the able men of his time ridiculed him as a dunce, a driveller, a child who never knew his own mind for an hour together; and he overreached them all round.
If the country had remained at peace, it is not impossible that this man would have continued at the head of affairs, without admitting any other person to a share of his authority, until the Throne was filled by a new Prince, who brought with him new maxims of Government, new favor. ites, and a strong will. But the inauspicious commencement of the Seven Years' War brought on a crisis to which Newcastle was altogether unequal. After a calm of fifteen years the spirit of the nation was again stirred to its inmost depths. In a few days the whole aspect of the political world was changed.
But that change is too remarkable an event to be discussed at the end of an article already too long. It is probable that we may, at no remote time, resume the subject.
THACKERAY'S HISTORY OF THE EARL OF
[Edinburgh Review, 1834.]
THOUGH several years have elapsed since the publication of this work, it is still, we believe, a new publication to most of our readers. Nor are we surprised at this. The book is large, and the style heavy. The information which Mr. Thackeray has obtained from the State Paper Office is new ; but much of it is to us very uninteresting. The rest of his narrative is very little better than Gifford's or Tomline's Life of the Second Pitt, and tells us little or nothing that may not be found quite as well told in the Parlia. mentary History,' the · Annual Register,' and other works equally common.
Almost every mechanical employment, it is said, has a tendency to injure some one or other of the bodily organs of the artisan. Grinders of cutlery die of consumption ; weavers are stunted in their growth ; and smiths become blear-eyed. In the same manner almost every intellectual employment has a tendency to produce some intellectual malady. Biographers, translators, editors, — all, in short, who employ themselves in illustrating the lives or the writings
* A History of the Right Honorable William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, containing his Speeches in Purliament, a considerable Portion of his Correspondence when Secretary of State, upon French, Spanish, and American Affairs, never before published ; and an Account of the principal Events and Persons of his Time, connected with his Life, Sentiments, and Administration. By the Rev. FRANCIS THACKERAY, A. M. 2 vols. 4to. London : 1827.