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"Positively pledged, Mr. Percival?" said the Prince; "positively pledged to give away one of my bishoprics! I don't understand you."
"I mean that it was the King's positive and declared intention to give it to Dean Legge."
The Prime Minister, however, thus suddenly lost to his country, Government fell into total confusion. The
To this the embarrassed minister rising hopes of the Opposition were efreplies:fectually damped by the extraordinary animosity which the Prince had begun to conceive for them. Mr. Thomas Grenville tells us (vol., i., p. 300) that, "Lord Carysfort quotes Lord Grey for saying that the Prince, the day before yesterday, in speaking of the opposition, said 'his own friends had behaved to him like scoundrels, but that Lord Grenville he had no complaint against.'"
The story of the famous Liverpool Administration is soon told. The important question now submitted to the ministers was, whether, on their agreeing to the premiership of any public man then in the cabinet, they could carry on the Government without a junction either with Lords Grey and Grenville, or with Lord Wellesley and Mr. Canning. So doubtful were the answers returned individually to this question, which the Prince had instructed the Chancellor to propound, that a negotiation with the latter was resolved on.
"Mr. Percival," said the Prince, "if I had any direct intimation of what were really the King's wishes upon the subject, I would not only make Dean Legge Bishop of Oxford, but Archbishop of Canterbary, if it were in my power; but as this is not the case, I shall make my own Bishop. And further, I desire never to hear what were the King's wishes upon such subjects through a third person."
The following sketch from the same source is well worthy of attention :
Canning is in Wellesley's hands. builds upon that separation of the present cabinet in his favour, to which I have already adverted. I do not observe that any inroad upon opposition is meditated, save in the person of Whitbread, whose objects are high office for himself, and a peerage for his wife (!) The Sidmouths the Prince never will employ, having the greatest personal dislike to their chief.-P. 192.
Thus we find in another letter, when the final separation between Wellesley and Percival had taken place, that the latter recommended Lord Sidmouth to fill the Marquess's place:
"Is it possible, Mr. Percival," said the Prince," that you are ignorant of my feelings and sentiments towards that person?"
On the 11th of May, 1812, Mr. Percival was shot in the lobby of the House of Commons by Bellingham, "an applicant," as the Duke
VOL. XLVIII.-NO. CCLXXXIII.
correctly states, "for a recompense
Lord Liverpool (says the Duke) made his first proposal to Mr. Canning on the 17th of May, the details of which have been recorded in a minute; for, in all these transactions, the parties treated with insisted that everything should be put into black and white. This was taken down by them, and corrected, and authenticated by the opposite negotiator. The minute then proceeds to state that it was understood that Lord Castlereagh was to preserve the position in the Government and in the House of Commons he at present held; that his colleagues were desirous that Lord Liverpool should be at the head of the Administration, which was known to the Prince Regent; and that no change was anticipated in the policy of the Govern ment towards Roman Catholics.-p. 306.
&c., were interchanged.
It was first mooted that Canning should return to his old situation at the Foreign Office, to which Castlereagh agreed, on its being expressly stipulated in writing that he was to continue to manage the House of Commons-a point which he would not, holding himself successor of the great and good Mr. Perceval,' ever recede from. To this Mr. Canning objected (proposing a com promise). This proposition Castlereagh positively rejected, repeating the same thing over and over again, of his pious regard to the memory of Mr. Perceval, &c. ; and the meeting broke up re infecta.”— pp. 399-400.
While the Prince, under these difficulties, was once more relasping into his normal lethargy, and was resolved rather to put on with the headless administration which now nominally conducted the state, a motion was carried in the House of Commons at the in
stance of Mr. Stuart Wortley, calling on the Regent to establish "a strong and efficient administration." This produced the immediate resignation of the headless Cabinet. The Prince now hoisted general signals of distress. He first sent for Lord Wellesley. The Wellesley negotiation seems to have been based on the double principle of the inclusion of Roman Catholic claims, and the exclusion of petticoat government. The Duke tells us, quoting from Mr. Grenville
"It is reported that the Prince, in conversation with Wellesley, said he knew Wellesley must be shocked at the grossness of female connexions being adverted to in political controversies: and that Wellesley answered that he had female connexions enough, and that he did not care who knew of them: but he took ample care that no should have anything to say to him on the subject of politics."-P. 309.
The Catholic question, however, presented an effectual barrier to a Conservative reunion. After some negotiation between Canning and Lord Liverpool, and again between him and Lord Grenville, everything again fell through. The formation of a Government seemed as hopeless a task as the dethronement of Napoleon. Wellesley finally resigned the commission.
Lord Liverpool appears to have been now charged to concert a Government at all risks and hazards. The only interesting feature in the commission which devolved on this minister is to be found in the endeavours by which it was sought to establish a concert between Lord Castlereagh and Mr. Canning. The interview here brought about between the two rivals is thus vividly described by the anonymous correspondent of Lord Buckingham:
"In two days after this, Canning and Castlereagh had the proposed meeting, which apparently was a very cordial one; shaking hands, mutual acknowledgments of heathappiness at meeting-professions of regard
wish for renewal of connexion, and great admiration of each other's talents, integrity,
Thus, then, the disseverance of Canning from the high Tory party took place from 1812 to 1822—a period of ten years-at the close of which he succeeded, on the catas trophe which occurred to Castlereagh (then Lord Londonderry), to the Foreign Office and the lead in the House of Commons. He had, indeed, at an intervening period accepted the subordinate position of President of the Board of Control-a policy which must imply that he had lived to regret his refusal of the offer of the Fo reign Office in 1812. Indeed, if Canning had foreseen the glorious period which was about to open upon Europe in that juncture, in which a British minister could do more by diplomacy than by his position upon the treasury bench, there can be no doubt he would have cheerfully surrendered the leadership to Lord Castlereagh; and would have maintained, titularly as a subordinate minister, the primacy in parliament. This, we think, was not only the most unfortunate step in Mr. Canning's career, but it was a blunder upon his part; for he ought to have seen that his splendid oratorical and debating abilities would have cast into the shade the nominal leadership of his rival, whatever had been the prominence which events might have given to his departmental functions. In truth, the only means of attaining a practical equality between Canning and Castlereagh, was by conceding to the latter, as he perhaps himself foresaw, a titular superiority.
The second volume of the Memoirs of the Regency has far less merit than the first. His Grace of Buckingham gives a long and not unin
teresting narrative of Queen Caroline, informs his master that an applicathen Princess of Wales ; but there is tion has been made on behalf of Shevery little of a novel character to be ridan, who is represented to be dying gleaned from this dissertation ; nor in circumstances of destitution. The are any illustrative letters annexed Prince immediately advances £500. of any considerable value. The sub- Mr. Sheridan's friend is “with diffiject, indeed, of the Regency was culty induced to accept so much as scarcely one which naturally admit- £200.” This, however, he does take ted of two such bulky volumes as to expend on the comforts of the those which have been devoted to it. dying orator. Three days afterwards There is also a long discussion on the he returns to the Prince's secretary, subject of the Holy Alliance, with- asserting that Mrs. Sheridan's friends out the merit of a communication of had taken care that “ he should want further knowledge on the designs by for nothing," and restores the £200. which its originators are generally The Prince hears no more till he supposed to have been actuated. learns that Sheridan is dead.
We feel called upon, however, to This is the simple statement of advert to the chapter relating to the George IV. made impromptu, on death of Sheridan ; because his Grace learning the calumny circulated by has republished without comment Moore, and taken down at the time the story which until lately received of its delivery. Now is it possible to general credit, and which ascribed to believe that the Prince could have the Prince of Wales a total neglect of betrayed the impudence requisite for that great man in his distress. The the spontaneous fabrication of a story duke has further quoted the insolent so circumstantial ? And, even suplines applied to the Prince by Tom posing that such a story could Moore, as a characterisation of his have been thus concocted, it is obbehaviour to Sheridan.
vious that no man would have venNow it happens that the publica- tured thus to put on record a delibetion of Moore's Memoirs by Lord rate and monstrous lie, while there John Russell, elicited, from another were those living who would have quarter, the publication of a state- been as able as they would have been ment made by the Prince himself, on willing emphatically to contradict it. the first appearance of this charge We certainly think, therefore, that shortly after the orator's death, being it is high time that such a stigma, an unequivocal and also a very cir- upon the Regent should be removed; cumstantial contradiction of the accu- inasmuch as there is a vast preponsation. According to this counter- derance of evidence and of probability statement [See a recent number of in favour of the statement communithe Quarterly Reriew, containing a cated by the Prince. review of Moore's Memoirs, evi- It is difficult to surmise, amid as dently from a very old and recognis- well the variety as the splendour of able hand), it appears that Sheridan, the intellectual development which after being defeated in his election in adorned the period of the Regency 1812, received a generous offer of the and of the reign of George III., what Prince's assistance to ensure his elec- will be the ultimate character which tion by some other constituency; on history will impart to it. If we reterms, indeed, somewhat controlling member the complaint of Cicero his independence, yet such as Sheri. against Rome, in the age of its tran. dan would generally not have hesi- scendant glory, that it had produced tated to have accepted in haste and many illustrious generals, but very eraded at leisure. Sheridan, while few even tolerable orators, we may rejecting this offer, writes to a friend look back with peculiar pride on this proposing to raise an intrigue” splendid passage in English history, which should induce the Prince to as representing an epoch which filled advance £4,000, in order to enable all the theatres of political life with him “ to buy a borongh.” He obtains the grandest and most capacious inthe money; and the Prince finally tellect that the world has seen. There discovers the imposition. From that we find at once statesmen, orators, time all communications cease be- and generals, such as no other countween Sheridan and the Court. At try ever before excelled, and such as length, in 1816, the Prince's secretary few other countries ever before pro
duced. There were the elder and the younger Pitt standing unequalled in foresight, in ability, and in power; until it seemed as though that political supremacy which the Medicis usurped in their own free state, through the descent of their private wealth, was destined to be transmitted to the house of Pitt, as an intelJectual birthright. There, too, were such orators as Fox, and Sheridan, and Burke, and Canning, and Grattan. There arose a great military commander such as Bonaparte alone could rival, and who finally oversha dowed the romantic fame of Bonaparte himself. And if we turn from hence to the peaceful ornaments of life, we find no less splendid a constellation of poetical originality. It is thus hard to predict whether the splendour of the oratorical developnient the gigantic magnitude of the continental struggle, which brought to view the great naval and military commanders of these isles, as though the heroes of antiquity were more produced upon the earth--or
the rivalry which literature maintained against statesmanship and arms will hereafter arrogate the foreground in the history of these sixty years.
But one prediction may be safely entertained, that on whichever side the weight of genius and originality may incline, IRELAND will at least contribute the largest share to the intellectual splendour of Great Britain in that age. Wellington was hers: Sheridan was her's: Burke was hers: Canning and Grattan and Moore, and many another illustrious name, were also hers, Amid the differences of nationality, the the complaints of misgovernment, and the clamours for a legislative disseverance, there will ever remain this bond of union between the two coun tries that the sons of Ireland fought the battles, and created the intellectual renown, by which either nation was at once delivered from the perils of war, and maintained in the honours, the arts, and advantages of peace,
In this age of the world, when every, body has been everywhere, seen everything, and talked with everybody, it may savour of an impertinence if we ask of our reader if he has ever been at Massa. It may so chance that he has not, and if so, as assuredly has he yet an untasted pleasure before him.
A DUKE AND HIS MINISTER.
Now, to be sure, Massa is not as it once was. The little Duchy, whose capital it formed, has been united to a larger state. The distinctive features of a metropolis, and the residence of a sovereign Prince, are gone. The life, and stir, and animation which surround a Court have subsided; grass-grown streets and deserted squares replace the busy movement of former days; a dreamy weariness seems to have fallen over every one, as though life offered no more prizes for exertion, and that the day of her ambition was set for ever.
Yet are there features about the spot which all the chances and changes of political fortune cannot touch.~ Dy. nasties may fall, and thrones crumble, but the eternal Appenines will still rear their snow-clad summits towards the sky. Along the vast plain of ancient olives, the perfumed wind will still steal at evening, and the blue waters of the Mediterranean plash lazily among the rocks, over which the myrtle and the arbutus are hanging. There, amidst them all, half hid in clustering vines, bathed in soft odors from orange groves, with plashing fountains glit tering in the sun, and foaming streams gushing from the sides of marble mountains, there stands Massa-ruined, decayed, and deserted; but beautiful in all its desolation, and fairer to gaze on than many a scene where the tide of human fortune is at the flood.
As you wander there now, passing was, by imagining the very opposite the deep arch over which, hundreds to what he then was. Extremes were of feet above you, the ancient fort- his delight, and he undulated beress frowns, and enter the silent tween Austrian tyranny and demostreets, you would find it somewhat cratic licentiousness in politics ; just difficult to believe how, a very few as he vacillated between the darkest years back, this was the brilliant re- bigotry of his church and open infisidence of a Court, the gay resort of delity. strangers from every land of Europe, At the time when we desire to prethat showy equipages traversed these sent him to our readers, (the exact weel-grown squares, and high-born year is not material,) he was fast dames swept proudly beneath these beginning to weary of an interregnum leafy alleys. Hard indeed to fancy of asceticism and severity. He had the glittering throng of courtiers, the closed theatres and suppressed all merry laughter of light-hearted beau- public rejoicings; and for an entire ty, beneath these trellised shades, winter he had sentenced his foithful where, moodily and slow, some soli- subjects to the unbroken sway of tary figure now steals along, "pon- the Priest and the Friar,--a species dering sad thoughts over the bye- of rule which had banished all
strangers from the Duchy; and But a few-a very few years ago, threatened, by the injury to trade, and Massa was in the plenitude of its the direst consequences to the capiprosperity. The revenues of the tal. To have brought the question state were large, more than sufficient formally before him in all its details, to have maintained all that such a would have ensured the downfall of city could require, and nearly enough any minister rash enough for such to gratify every caprice of a Prince daring. There was, indeed, but one whose costly tastes ranged over every
man about the court who had courage theme, and found in each a pretext for the enterprize ; and to him we for reckless expenditure. He was would devote a few lines as we pass. one of those men whom nature, hav- He was an Englishman, named Stub ing gifted largely, takes out the com- ber; he had originally come out to pensation by a disposition of instabi- Italy with horses for his Highness ; lity and fickleness that renders every and been induced, by good offers of acquirement valueless. He could employment, to renain. He was not have been anything-orator, poet, exactly stable-groom, nor trainer, nor artist, soldier, statesman; and yet, was he of the dignity of master of in the very diversity of his abilities, the stables ; but he was something there was that want of fixity of pur- whose attributes included a little of pose, that left him ever short of Buc- all and something more. One thing cess, till he himself, wearied by re- he assuredly was : a consummately peated failures, distrusted his own clever fellow, who could apply all his powers, and ceased to exert them. native Yorkshire shrewdness to a
Such a man, under the hard pres- new sphere; and make of his homesure of a necessity, might have done spun faculties the keen intelligence great things; as it was, born to a by which he could guide himself in princely station, and with a vast for- novel and difficult circumstances. tune, he became a reckless spend. A certain freedom of speech, with thrift-a dreary visionary at one a bold hardihood of character, based, time, an enthusiastic dilletante at it is true, upon a conscious sense of another. There was not a scheme of go- honor, had brought him more than -vernment he had not eagerly embraced once under the notice of the Prince. and abandoned in turn. He had attract- His Highness felt such pleasure in the ed to his little capital all that Europe outspoken frankness of the man, that could boast of artistic excellence, and he frequently took opportunities of as suddenly he had thrown himself conversing with him, and even askinto the most intolerant zeal of Papal ing his advice. Never deterred by persecution-denouncing, every spe- the subject, whatever it was, Stubber eies of pleasure, and ordaining a more spoke out his mind, and by the very than monastic self-denial and strict- force of strong native sense, and an ness. There was only one mode of unswerving power of determination, calculating what he might do, which soon impressed his master that his