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gave me many unasked and unequivocal proofs of his friendship.' Chesterfield.

§ 63. The Cbarafler of Mr. Pope.

Pope in conversation was below himself; he was seldom easy and natural, and seemed afraid that the man mould degrade the poet, which made him always attempt wit and humour, often unsuccessfully, and too often unseasonably. I have been with him a week ata time at his house at Twickenham, where I necessarily saw his mind in its undress, when he was both an agreeable and instructive companion.

His moral character has been warmly attacked, and but weakly defended; the natural consequence os his shining turn to satire, of which many felt, and all feared the smart. It must be owned that he was the most irritable of all the genus irritabile <vatum, offended with trifles, and never forgetting or forgiving them; but in this 1 really think that the poet was more in fault than the man. He was as great an instance as any he quotes, of the contrarieties and inconsistencies of human nature; for, notwithstanding the malignancy of his satires, and some blamrable passages of his life, he wa3 charitable to his power, active in doing good offices, and piously attentive to an old bed-ridden mother, who died but a little time before him. His poor, crazy, deformed body was a mere Pandora's box, containing all the physical ills that ever afflicted humanity. This, perhaps, whetted the edge of his satire, and may in some degree excuse it. - I will say nothing of his works, they speak sufficiently for themselves; they will live as long as letters and taste shall remain in this country, and be more and more admired, as envy and resentment shall subside. But I will venture this piece of classical blasphemy, which is, that however he may be supposed to be obliged to Horace, Horace is moreobliged to him. Ibid.

§ 64.. Characler of Lord Boling


It is impossible to find lights and (hades strong enough to paint the chajacteroflprd Bolingbroke, who was a

most mortifying instance of the violence of human passions, and of the most improved and exalted human reason. His virtues and his vices, his reason and his passions, did not bknd themselves by a gradation cf tints, but formed a shining and sudden contrast.

Here the darkest, there the most splendid colours, and both rendered more striking from their proximity. Impetuosity, excess, and almost extravagancy, characterized not only his passions; but even his senses. His youth, was distinguished by all the tumult and storm of pleasures, in which he licentiously triumphed, disdaining all decorum. His fine imagination was often heated and exhausted, with his body, in celebrating and deifying the prostitute of the night; and his convivial joys were pushed to all the extravagancy of frantic bacchanals. These passions wera never interrupted but by a stronger ambition. The former impaired both his constitution and his character; but the latter destroyed both his fortune and his reputation.

He engaged young, and distinguished himself in business. His penetration was almost intuition, and he adorned whatever subject he either spoke or wrote upon, by the most splendid eloquence; not a studied or laboured eloquence, but by such a flowing happiness of diction, which (from care, perhaps, at first) was become so habitual to him, that even his most familiar conversations, if taken down in writing, would have borne the press, without the least correction, either as to method or style. He had noble and generous sentiments, rather than fixed, reflected, principles of good-nature and friendship; but they were more violent than lasting, and suddenly and often varied to their opposite extremes, with regard even to the fame persons. He received the common attentions of civility as obligations, which he returned within, terest; and resented with passion the little inadvertencies of human nature, which he repaid with interest too. Even a difference of opinion upon, a philosophical subject would provoke, and prove him no practical philosopher at least.


Notwithstanding the dissipation of his youth, and the tumultuous agitation of his middle age, he had an infinite fund of various and almost universal knowledge, which, from the clearest and quickest conception, and the happiest memory that ever man was blest with, he always carried about him. It was his pocket-money, and he never had occasion to draw upon a book for any sum. He excelled more particularly in history, as his historical works plainly prove. The relative, political, and commercial interests of every country in Europe, particularly of his own, were better known to him than perhaps to any man in it; but bow steadily he pursued the latter in his public conduct, his enemies of all parties and denominations tell with pleasure.

During his long exile in France, he applied himself to study with his characteristica! ardour ; and there he formzed, and chiefly executed, the plan of his great philosophical work. The common bounds of human knowledge were too narrow for his warm and aspiring imagination; he must go extra flammantia mania mundi, and explore the unknown and unknowable regions of metaphysics, which open an unbounded field for the excursions of an ardent imagination ; where endless conjectures supply the defect os unattainable knowledge, and too often usurp both its name and its influence.

He had a very handsome person, with a most engaging address in his air and manners; he had all the dignity and good-breeding which a man of quality should or can have, and which so {ew, in this country at least, really have.

He professed himself a deist, believing in a general Providence, but doubting of, though by no means rejecting, (as is commonly supposed) the immortality of the soul, and a future state.

He died of a cruel and (hocking distemper, a cancer in his face, which he endured with firmness. A week before he died, I took my last leave of him with grief; and he returned me his kit farewell with tenderness, and said, " God, who placed me here, will

«' do what he pleases with ine here* •' after ; and he knows best what to do. "May he bless you!"

Upon the whole of this extraordinary character, what can we fay, but, alas! poor human nature! Chesterfield.

§65. CharaSer of Mr. Pultenev.

Mr. Pulteney was formed by nature for social and convivial pleasures. Resentment made him engage in business. He had thought himself slighted by Sir Robert Walpole, to whom he publicly avowed not only revenge, but utter destruction. He had lively and shining parts, a surprising quickness of wit, and a happy turn to the most amusing and entertaining kinds of poetry, as epigrams, ballads, odes, &c. j in all which he had an uncommon facility. His compositions in that way were sometimes satirical, often licentious, but always full of wit.

He h, ad a quick and clear conception of business; could equally detect and practise sophistry. He could state and explain the most intricate matters, even in figures, with the utmost perspicuity. His parts were rather above business; and the warmth of his imagination, joined to the impetuosity and restlessness of his temper, made him incapable of conducting it long together with prudence and steadiness.

He was a most complete orator and debater in the house of commons; eloquent, entertaining, persuasive, strong, and pathetic, as occasion required; for he had arguments, wit, and tears, at his command. His breast was the feat of all those passions which degrade our nature, and disturb our reason. There they raged in perpetual conflict; but avarice, the meanest of them all, generally triumphed, ruled absolutely, and, in many instances, which I forbear to mention, most scandaloufly.

His sudden passion was outrageous, but supported by great personal courage. Nothing exceeded his ambition, but his avarice: they often accompany, and are frequently and reciprocally the causes and the effects of each other; but the latter is always a clog upon the former. He affected good-nature and compassion, and perhaps his heart might "8 feel seel the misfortunes and distresses of his fellow-creatures, but his hand was seldom or never stretched out to relieve them. Though he was an able actor of truth and sincerity, he could occasionally lay them aside, to serve the purposes of his ambition or avarice.

He was once in the greatest point of view that ever I saw any subject in. When the opposition, of which he was the leader in the house of commons, prevailed at last against Sir Robert Walpole, he became the arbiter between the crown and the people ; the former imploring his protection, the latter his support. In that critical moment his various jarring passions were in the highest ferment, and for a while suspended his ruling one. Sense of shame made him hesitate at turning courtier Or a sudden, after having acted the patriot so long, and with so much applause; and his pride made him declare, that he would accept of no place; vainly imagining, that he could, by such a simulated and temporary selfdenial, preserve his popularity with the public, and his power at court. He was mistaken in both. The king hated him almost as much for what he might have done, as for what he had done; and a motley ministry was formed, which by no means desired his company. The nation looked upon him as a deserter, and ne shrunk into insignificancy and an earldom.

He made several attempts afterwards to retrieve the opportunity he had lost, but in vain; his situation would not allow it.—He was fixed in the house of lords, that hospital of incurables; and his retreat to popularity was cut off: for the confidence of the public, when once great, and once lost, is never to be regained. He lived afterwards in retirement, with the wretched comfort of Horace's miser:

Populus me, tec.

I may, perhaps, be suspected to have given too strong colouring to some features of this portrait ; but I solemnly protest, that I have drawn it conscientiously, and to the best of my knowledge, from a very long acquaintance with, and observation of, the original. Nay,

I have rather softened than heightened the colouring. Chesterfield.

§ 66. CharaSer of Sir Robert Wal. Pole.

I much question whether an impartial character of Sir Robert Walpose will or can be transmitted to posterity ; for he governed this kingdom so long, that the various passions of mankind mingled, and in a manner incorporated themselves, with every thing that was said or written concerning him. Never was man more flattered, nor more abused; and his long power was probably the chief cause of both. I was much acquainted with him, both in his public and his private life. I mean to do impartial justice to his character; and therefore my picture of him will, perhaps, be more like him than it will be like any of the other pictures drawn of him.

In private life he was good-natured, chearful, social ; inelegant in his manners, loose in his morals. He had a coarse, strong wit, which he was too free of for a man in his station, as it is always inconsistent with dignity. He was very able as a minister, but without a certain elevation of mind, necessary for great good or great mischief. Profuse and appetent, his ambition was subservient to his desire of making a great fortune. He had more of the Mazarin than of the Richelieu. He would do mean things for profit, and never thought of doing great ones for glory.

He was both the best parliamentman, and the ablest manager of parliament, that, I believe, ever lived. An artful, rather than an eloquent speaker; he saw, as by intuition, the disposition os the house, and pressed or receded accordingly. So clear in stating the most intricate matters, especially in the finances, that, whilst he was speaking, the most ignorant thought that they understood what they really did not. Money, not prerogative, was the chief engine of his administration; and he employed it with a success which in a manner disgraced humanity. He was •not, it is true, the inventor of that shameful method of governing, which tad been gaining ground insensibly ever since Charles II. ; but, with uncommon skill, and unbounded profusion, he brought it to that perfection which at this time dishonours and distresses this country, and which (if not checked, and God knows how it can be now checked) must ruin it.

Besides this powerful engine of government, he had a most extraordinary talent of persuading and working men up to his purpose. A hearty kind of frankness, which sometimes seemed impudence, made people think that he let them into his secrets, whilst the impoliteness of his manners seemed to attest his sincerity. When he found any body proof against pecuniary temptations, which, alas! was but seldom, he had recourse to a still worse art; for he I.-'Jighed at and ridiculed all notions of public virtue, and the love of one's country, calling them, " The chimeri*' cal school - boy flighis of classical ** learning ;" declaring himself, at the same time, "No saint, no Spartan, "no reformer." He would frequently ask young fellows, at their first appearance in the world, while their honest hearts were yet untainted, " Well, "are you to be an old Roman? a pa"triot i' You will soon come off of "that, and grow wiser." And thus he was more dangerous to the morals than to the liberties of his country, to which I am persuaded he meant no ill in his heart.

He was the easy and profuse dupe of women, and in some instances indecently so. He was .excessively open to flattery, even of the grossest kind, and from the coarsest bunglers of that vile profession; which engaged him to pass most of his leisure and jovial hours with people whose blasted characters reflected upon his own. He was loved by many, but respected by none ; his familiar and illiberal mirth and raillery leaving him no dignity. He was not vindictive, but, on the contrary, very placable to those who had injured him the most. His good-humour, good-nature, and beneficence, in the several relations of father, husband, mailer, and friend, gained him the warmest affections of all within that circle.

His name will not be recorded la history among the " best men," or the "best ministers ;" but much less ought it to be ranked among the worst.


§ 67. CbaraQer of Lord Granville.

Lord Granville had great parts, and a most uncommon share of learning for a man of quality. He was one of the best speakers in the house of lords, both in the declamatory and the argumentative way. He had a wonderful quickness and precision in seizing the stress of a question, which no art, no sophistry, could disguise in him. In business he was bold, en terprizing, and overbearing. He had been bred up in high monarchical, that is, tyrannical principles of government, which his ardentand imperious temper made him think were the only rational and practicable ones. He would have been a great first minister in France,littleinferior,perhaps, to Richelieu; in this government, which is yet free, he would have been a dangerous one, little less so, perhaps, than Lord Strafford. He was neither ill-natured nor vindictive, and had a great contempt for money ; his ideas were all above it. In social life he was an agreeable, good-humoured, and instructive companion; a great but entertaining talker.

He degraded himself by the vice of drinking ; which, together with a great stock of Greek and Latin, he brought away with him from Oxford, and re. tained and practised ever afterwards. By his own industry, he had made himself master of all the modern languages, and had acquired a great knowledge of the law. His political knowledge of the interest of princes and of commerce was extensive, and his notions were just and great. His character may be summed up, in nice precision, quick decision, and unbounded presumption. Ibid.

§ 68. CharaQer os Mr. Pel Ham.

Mr. Pelham had good sense, without either shining parts or any degree of literature. He had by no means an elevated or enterprising genius, but had a more manly and steady resolution than his brother the Duke of Newcastle.


He had a gentleman-like frankness in hi's behaviour, and as great point of honour as a minister can have, especially a minister at the head of the treasury, wbere numberless sturdy and insatiable beggars of condition apply, who cannot all be gratified, nor all with safety be refused. ,

He was a very inelegant speaker in parliament, but spoke with a certaia candour and openness that made him be well heard, and generally believed.

He wished well to the public, and managed the finances with great care and personal purity. He was par negatits nequefupra: had many domestic virtues and no vices. If his place, and the power that accompanies it, made him some public enemies, his behaviour in both secured him from personal and rancorous ones. Those who wished him worst, only wished themselves in his place.

Upon the whole, he was an honourableman, and a well-wishing minister.


$69. CbaraSler os R1 cH AB. D Earl of


In drawing the character os Lord Scarborough, I will be strictly upon my guard against the partiality of that intimate and unreserved friendship, in which we lived for more than twenty years ; to which friendship, as well as to the.public.notoriety of it, I owe much more than my pride will let my gratitude own. If this may be suspected to have biassed my judgment, it must, at the same time, be allowed to have informed it; for the most secret move1 ments of his soul were, without disguise, communicated to me only. However, I will rather lower than heighten the colouring; I will mark the shades, and draw a credible rather than an exact likeness.

He 'had a very good person, rather above the middle size; a handsome face, and when he was chearful, the most engaging countenance imaginable: when grave, which he was oftenest, the most respectable one. He had in the highest degree the air, manners, and address, ofa man of quality ; politeness with ease> and dignity without pride.

Bred in camps and courts, it cannot be supposed that he was untainted with the fashionable vices of these warm climates ; but (if I may be allowed the expression) he dignified them, instead of* their degrading him into any mean or indecent action. He had a good degree of classical, and a great one of modern, knowledge; with a just, and, at the fame time, a delicate taste.

In his common expences he was liberal within bounds ; but in his charities and bounties he had none. I have known them put him to some present inconveniencies.

He was a strong, but not an eloquent or florid speaker, in parliament. He spoke so unaffectedly the honest dictates of his heart, that truth and virtue, which never want, and seldom wear, ornaments, seemed only to borrow his voicv. This gave such an astonishing weight to all he said, that he more than once carried an unwilling majority after him. Such is the authority of unsuspected virtue, that it will sometimes shame vice into decency at least.

He was not only offered, but pressed to accept, the post of secretary of state; but he constantly refused it. I once tried to persuade him to accent it; but he told me, that both the natural warmth and melancholy of his temper made him unfit for it; and that more. over he knew very well that, in those ministerial employments, the course of business made it necessary to do many hard things, andsomeunjustones, which could only be authorized by the Jesuitical casuistry of the direction of the intention: a doctrine which he said he could not possibly adopt. Whether he was the first that ever made that objection, I cannot affirm; but I suspect that he will be the last.

He was a true constitutional, and yet practicable patriot; a sincere lover, and a zealous asserter, of the natural, the civil, and the religious rights of his Country: but he would not quarrel with the crown, for some flight stretches of the prerogative; nor with the people, for some unwary ebullitions of liberty; nor with any one for a difference of opinion in speculative points. He considered the constitution in the aggregate,


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