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he applied himself with zeal, but such as took no fire, either from faction or ambition. No man better discerned of men, and therefore was he constant in his friendships, because he regarded not the fortune, nor adherence, but the men; with whom also he conversed with an openness of heart that had no other guard than his own integrity, and that nil conscire. To his equals he carried himself equally, and to his inferiors familiarly; but maintaining his respect fully, and only, with the native splendour of his worth. In sum, he was one in whom might plainly be perceived that honour and honesty are but the same thing in the different degrees of persons.'
He that hath light within his own clear breast,
C'étoit, par excellence, ce qu'on appelle un galant homme,-noble, sensible, généreux, plein de loyauté, de politesse, et de bonté; et il réunissait ce que les deux caractères de l'Anglois et du François ont de meilleur et de plus aimable.3
Une grande générosité, de la grâce, et de la justesse dans les récompenses, beaucoup de tact,
1 Hobbes (Dedication of his Translation of Thucydides to the Earl of Devonshire, 1629).
3 Character of Albemarle. (Marmontel, Euvres posthumes.)
le talent de deviner ce qu'il ne sait pas, et une grande connoissance des hommes.'
His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles;
O what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's eye, tongue, sword:
Undoubtedly Mr. Grenville was a first-rate figure in this country. With a masculine understanding and a stout and resolute heart, he had an application undissipated and unwearied. If he was ambitious, I will say this for him—his ambition was of a noble and generous strain. It was to raise himself, not by the low, pimping, politics of a court, but to win his way to power through the laborious gradations of public service; and to secure himself a well-earned rank in parliament by a thorough knowledge of its constitution, and a perfect practice in all its business.4
I ever looked upon Lord Keppel as one of the greatest and best men of his age; and I loved and cultivated him accordingly. He was much in my heart, and I believe I was in his, to the very last
Character of Prince Potemkin. See Lettres, &c. de Prince de Ligne.
2 Two Gentlemen of Verona.
beat. It was after his trial at Portsmouth that he gave me his picture. With what zeal and anxious affection I attended him through that, his agony of glory!1
An opulence of imagination, a fertility of fancy, a power of commanding, at the instant, all the resources of his mind, and a dexterity in applying them.2
I love Burke's knowledge, his diffusion and affluence of conversation.
Yes, Burke is an extraordinary man; his stream of mind is perpetual.3
His conversation (Isaac Hawkins Browne) was at once so elegant, so apparently artless, so pure, and so pleasing; it seemed a perpetual stream of sentiment enlivened by gaiety and sparkling with images.4
Le talent de rédiger sa pensée, brillamment et rapidement, est ce que réussit le plus dans la société.5
But, light and airy, stood on the alert,
And smiling-but in secret-cunming rogue!
2 Character of Erskine. (Johnson.)
He danced without theatrical pretence,
Dundas (Lord Melville) was a loose man, and had been rather a disciple of the Edinburgh school in his youth, though it was not much known; yet he was a fine fellow in some things. People have thought him a mean, intriguing creature; but he was, in many respects, a fine warm-hearted fellow. I was with him and Pitt when they looked through the Red Book to see who was the properest person to send as governor-general to India; and it should be mentioned to Dundas's honour, that, having the disposal of the most important office in the king's gift, he did not make it a means of gaining favour with any great family, or of obliging any of his countrymen, but appointed the fittest person he could find (Sir John Rose). Three several times have I stated this fact in the House of Commons, and never once has it been mentioned in any of the papers.2
Lord Melville's conduct to Wilberforce, after all these public storms, was an instance of his better nature, and was always mentioned by Wilberforce with unusual pleasure. "We had not met for a long time, and all his connections most violently abused me. About a year before he died, we met in the stone passage which leads from the Horse
2 Wilberforce, Mem. iii. 229. ૨ ૩
Guards to the Treasury. We came suddenly upon each other, just in the open part where the light struck upon our faces. We saw one another, and at first I thought he was passing on; but he stopped and called out, Ah! Wilberforce, how do you do?' and gave me a hearty shake by the hand. I would have given a thousand pounds for that shake. I never saw him afterwards.'
He (Pitt) is really-I say it solemnly, appealing to Heaven for the truth of my declaration-in my judgment, one of the most public-spirited and upright, and the most desirous of spending the nation's money economically, and of making sacrifices for the general good, of all the men I ever knew.2
Anquetil (the author of L'Esprit de la Ligue) was an elder brother, and became a monk that he might bequeath all his fortune to his brothers and sisters. "Pour moi," he said, "je crois que c'est pour être père de famille que je me suis cloîtré.” At the age of eighty he was forewarned of his death, and invited one of his friends to come and see him. "Venez voir un homme qui meurt plein de vie."3
For even then, sir, even before this splendid orb was entirely set, and while the western horizon was in a blaze with his descending glory, on the opposite quarter of the heavens arose another lu
1 Wilberforce (Mem.).
2 Wilberforce, Mem. ii. 245.; but see ib. 261, 262.
4 Lord Chatham.