Imágenes de páginas


Had it pleased God to continue to me the hopes of succession, I should have been according to my mediocrity, and the mediocrity of the age I live in, a sort of founder of a family ; I should have left a son, who, in all the points in which personal merit can be viewed, in science, in erudition, in genius, in taste, in honour, in generosity, in humanity, in every liberal sentiment, and every liberal accomplishment, would not have shewn himself inferior to the dukeof Bedford, or to any of those whom he traces in his line. His grace very soon would have wanted all plausibility in his attack upon that provision which belonged more to mine than to me. HE would soon have supplied every deficiency, and symmetrized every disproportion. It would not have been for that successor to resort to any stagnant wasting reservoir of merit in me, or in any ancestry. He had in himself a salient, living spring, of generous and manly action. Every day he lived he would have re-purchased the bounty of the crown, and ten times more, if ten times more he had received. He was made a public creature ; and had no enjoyment whatever, but in the performance of some duty. At this exigent moment, the loss of a finished man is not easily supplied.

He was sometimes a little dispirited by the disposition which we thought shewn to depress him and set him aside; yet he was always buoyed up again; and on one or two occasions, he discovered what might be expected from the vigour and elevation of his mind, from his unconquerable fortitude, and from the extent of his resources for every purpose of speculation and of action.


The person given to us by Monk was a man without any sense of his duty as a prince; without any regard to the dignity of his crown; without any love to his people ; dissolute, false, venal, and destitute of any positive good quality whatsoever, except a pleasant temper, and the manners of a gentleman.


ANOTHER scene was opened, and other actors appeared on the stage. The state, in the condition ] have described it, was delivered into the hands of Lord Chatham-a great and celebrated name ; a name that keeps the name of this country respectable in every other on the globe. It may be truly called,

Clarum et venerabile nomen
Gentibus, et multum nostræ quod proderat urbi.

Sir, the venerable age of this great man, his merited rank, his superior eloquence, his splendid qualities, his eminent services, the vast space he fills in the eye of mankind; and, more than all the rest, his fall from power, which, like death, canonizes and sanctifies a great character, will not suffer me to censure any part of his conduct. I am afraid to flatter him ; I am sure I am not disposed to blame him. Let those who have betrayed him by their adulation, insult him with their malevolence. But what I do not presume to censure,

I may have leave to lament. For a wise man, he seemed to me at that time, (1766) to be governed too much by general maxims. I speak with the freedom of history, and I hope without offence. One or two of these maxims, flowing from an opinion not the most indulgent to our unhappy species, and surely a little too general, led him into measures that were greatly mischievous to himself; and for that reason, among others, perhaps fatal to his country; measures, the effects of which, I am afraid, are for ever incurable.


CONDORCET (though no marquis, as he styled himself before the revolution) is a man of another sort of birth, fashion, and occupation from Brissot ; but in every principle, and every disposition to the lowest as well as the highest and most determined villanies, fully his equal. He seconds Brissot in the assembly, and is at once his coadjutor and his rival in a newspaper, which in his own name and as successor to Mr. Garat, a member also of the assembly, he has just set up in that empire of gazettes. Condorcet was chosen to draw the first declaration presented by the assembly to the king, as a threat to the elector of Treves, and the other princes on the Rhine.


LOOKING over all the names I have heard of in this great revolution in all human affairs, I find no man of any distinction who has remained in that more than stoical apathy, but the Prince de Conti. This mean, stupid, selfish, swinish, and cowardly animal, universally known'and despised as such, has indeed, except in one abortive attempt to elope, been perfectly neutral. However his neutrality, which it seems would qualify him for trust, and on a competition must set aside the Prince de Condé, can be of no sort of service. His moderation has not been able to keep him froin a jail. The allied powers must draw him from that jail, before they can have the full advantage of the exertions of this great neutralist.

Except him, I do not recollect a man of rank or talents, who by his speeches or his votes, by his pen or by his sword, has not been active on this scene. The time indeed could admit no neutrality in any person worthy of the name of man.


CROMWELL, when he attempted to legalize his power, and to settle his conquered country in a state of order, did not look for dispensers of justice in the instruments of his usurpation. Quite the contrary. He sought out, with great solicitude and selection, and even from the party most opposite to his designs, men of weight, and decorum of character; men unstained with the violence of the times, and with hands not fouled with confiscation and sacrilege: for he chose án Hales for his chief justice, though he absolutely refused to take his civic oaths, or to make any acknowledgment whatsoever of the legality of his government. Cromwell told this great lawyer, that since he did not approve his title, all he required of him was, to administer, in a manner agreeable to his pure sentiments and unspotted character, that justice without which human society cannot subsist: that it was not his particular government, but civil order itself, which as a judge he wished him to support. Cromwell knew

how to separate the institutions expedient to his usurpation from the administration of the public justice of his country. For Cromwell was a man in whom ambition had not wholly suppressed, but only suspended, the sentiments of religion, and the love (as far as it could consist with his designs) of fair and honourable reputation. Accordingly, we are indebted to this act of his for the preservation of our laws, which some senseless assertors of the rights of men were then on the point of entirely erasing, as relics of feudality and barbarism. Besides, he gave in the appointment of that man, to that age, and to all posterity, the most brilliant example of sincere and fervent piety, exact justice, and profound jurisprudence.*

Mr. DUNNING . I AM not afraid of offending a most learned body, and most jealous of its reputation for that learning, when I say he is the first of his profession. It is a point settled by those who settle every thing else; and I must add (what I am enabled to say from my own long and close observation) that there is not a man, of any profession, or in any situation, of a more erect and independent spirit ; of a more proud honour ; a more manly mind; a more firm and determined integrity.

WILLIAM ELLIOT, ESQ. M.P. Why should not you, yourself, be one of those to enter your name in such a list as I speak of. You are young; you have great talents, you have a clear head, you have a natural, fluent, and unforced elo

* See Burnet's Life of Hale. † Afterwards Lord Ashburnharh,

« AnteriorContinuar »