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times with my looks abstracted, my visage pale, and my spirits grave. I detested their interruptions : they said to themselves." He is a mere bookworm; he can tell nothing; he knows nothing; he has a confused mind, and wants common sense!” I felt self-abased to have any communication with persons of such a temperament, and such incomprehensiveness; and grew more and more resolved to discourage acquaintance of this caste.'-p. 144.
Our squire-hating Squire escaped, as we mentioned, from this course of life and letters, twice-each time for but a short interval. During the alarm of French invasion, he took the command of a body of fencibles, and for a short while enjoyed the busy existence of a camp on the Kentish downs. He soon, as may be supposed, got quite sick of the whole affair; he gives, however, some amusing reminiscences in this chapter. Then, early in 1812, he was returned to the House of Commons; but here, from the sensitive nervous temperament which our preceding extracts have so often exhibited, he could never have had much chance of distinction—not even if he had begun at an earlier period of life. But some of his sketches of the new world in which he now mingled may probably be to many the chief attractions of these volumes. For example, he says: As to the talent of speaking, an over-anxiety and ambition to excel may at first defeat the end; but perseverance and gradual selfpossession, which is the consequence, will gradually prevail. But this is not to be done when we begin late. In parliament great orators are rare; and one may be a very useful speaker in defiance of occasional embarrassment, and imperfect expression or manner. I have seen men gradually gain the attention of the House by mere self-confidence and boldness, who had no one ingredient of oratory. I remember that even Canning used often to hesitate a good deal in the commencement of his speeches. Lord Castlereagh was gene. rally embarrassed even to the last; Vansittart was slow, and could not be heard-his voice was so faint; Grattan, at the period when I knew him, was laboured, tautologous, and energetic on truisms; Whitbread was turgid and foamy; George Ponsonby spoke in snappy sentences, which had the brevity but not the point of epigram; Garrow was vox et præterea nihil ; Frederick Robinson spoke with vivacity and cleverness, and in a most gentlemanly tone, but wanted a sonorous flow.... Charles Grant, who rarely rose, poured out when he did rise a florid academical declamation, of which kind indeed Canning's speeches often were; Huskisson was a wretched speaker, with no command of words, with awkward motions, and a most vulgar, uneducated accentuation ; Tierney had a manner of his own--very amusing—but entirely colloquial; he seldom attempted argument, but was admirable at raillery and jest. It is difficult to describe the manner of Sir Francis Burdett;—it was generally solemn, equable, and rather artificially laboured, in a sort of tenor voice; but, now and
then, when it was animated, it approached for a little while to powerful oratory. I once or twice heard Stephens, the master in Chancery, make a good speech; but the tone was coarse and vulgar. Wilberforce had a shrill feeble voice, and a slow enunciation, as if he was preaching ; and his language was of the same character as he used in his writings, with great ingenuity and a constant course of thought out of the common beat; but there was something between the plaintive and the querulous, which was rather fatiguing. Mackintosh was often eloquent, but generally too studied, and much too learned for his audience; and he was not sufficiently free from a national accent; his voice too was deficient in strength. Romilly spoke as a patriotic and philosophic lawyer, full of matter and argument, but perhaps a little too slowly and solemnly for such a mixed assembly as the House of Commons. Plunkett was one of the most powerful speakers, but better in the acuteness of his matter than in his manner. Vesey Fitzgerald had a bold, forward, lively flow of words. .. .. Of all the men who struck me at once, Lord Lyndhurst's talents made the greatest impression upon me.
He who has matter to communicate must be singularly deficient in language and delivery, if he can gain no attention, after a little practice, and that command of nerves which a repetition of efforts will secure. At first every sensitive man is frightened at the sound of his own voice.'
These little sketches, imperfect as they are, will be curious and valuable hereafter. Mr. Huskisson, however, improved in his style of speaking in his later years, to an extent of which Sir Egerton seems to have had no notion; and we do not believe that Sir J. Mackintosh's Scotch did him any great harm with the House. His brogue was certainly a mere nothing to the late Lord Melville's, who was always a favourite speaker; nay, it was not in fact broader than Lord Brougham's, or Lord Plunkett's. Perhaps Sir James was too desirous to disguise his native accent, and one glimpse of affectation does more damage, in such a place as St. Stephens' used to be, than the steady undeniable daylight of many a more serious fault; but the real mischief was, that he had a professorial tone, and that never answers out of the chair.
Sir Egerton has a very good passage on the late Lord Liverpool :
I remember a remark of his when he dined with me, in 1794, from his encampment near Dover, as colonel of the Cinque Portos' Fencible Cavalry, which struck me as a proof that he was a man of sentiment and moral reflection. He seemed to other eyes to be then in the bloom of his successful career. We were talking of the enjoyments of youth: I believe he was at least nine years younger than I was; but he had already had some experience of public life. “No," he said, “ youth is not the age of pleasure ; we then expect too much, and we are therefore exposed to daily disappointments
and mortifications. When we are a little older, and have brought down our wishes to our experience, then we become calm and begin to enjoy ourselves.'
• I assert that Lord Liverpool's talents were much under-estimated. He had a meek spirit—too meek for a premier,—and Canning's overbearing temper was too much for him ; but he was a far wiser statesman than Canning, though not, like him, a splendid rhetorician. He was too much of a Tory in his principles, which had been bred in him: but he was very mild in their applications. Though he had abilities and great knowledge, he had not genius; he could not ori. ginate, but he could judge with calmness and correctness on the data submitted to him, though perhaps not very quickly. I have no doubt that he meant honestly, and had the interest of his country at heart. After Lord Castlereagh's death he lost himself; his faculties began to wear out—they had been overstretched. Altogether, with many faults arising from his ductility, I consider him to have been an able and wise, though not brilliant, minister.
• Lord Castlereagh appears to me to have had this advantage of him, that he was more bold and decided. His knowledge was not so accurate, nor his judgment so calm; but he also, whatever vulgar clamour and party prejudice may say, was a man of very great abilities and a statesman-like head. The courtesy and elegance of his manners were truly engaging ; and as he had more ease and apparent frankness than Lord Liverpool, whose address was repressively cold, he had in these respects a great advantage over him.'pp. 181, 182. ** All this is very just. No public man in our recollection had such perfect manners as the late Lord Londonderry. No man inspired those of his own party with such a mixture of confidence and affection—no one, by the mere dignity of his character and aspect, could so effectually overawe the insolence of unprincipled antagonists. Our author has spoken of this high-minded nobleman, and most able statesman, on various other occasions, in the same tone of well-merited eulogy ;-but we must whisper-indeed we believe it is no secret—that Sir Egerton owed his baronetcy to the favour of Lord Castlereagh. It is generally very easy to connect this author's opinions with the incidents of his own life. Thus - will he forgive us for suspecting that the key to the greater part of his tirades against Mr. Pitt is to be found in the first six words we are about to quote ?
"I was never introduced to Pilt: I saw him sometimes in the field, on hunting days, when he came down to Walmer. He seemed to delight in riding hard, with his chin in the air; but I believe had no skill as a sportsman-seeking merely exercise, and thinking, as Dry den says, that it was
Better to hunt in fields for health unbought,
Was there any harm in this ? and for Sir Egerton Brydges, of all men, to sneer at Mr. Pitt for not being a sportsmun! He has just been telling us that he himself could never · discuss a horse's points,' or give any guess as to the course the fox would probably take.' But alas ! • Pitt had no poetical ideas or feelings, and for this want many will say that he was the better statesman-an opinion which I cannot at all admit. Pitt did not see far enough, because he saw nothing by the blaze of imagination. Pitt drew about him a few cunning old placemen ; but they were mostly servile minds, and of a secondary class, who submitted without struggle to the ascendency of his mind.
We need not defend Pitt's memory against these vague sneers. Where was the contemporary mind that did not submit, either with or without struggle, to the ascendency of his? Have we not had enough, since his days, of people that' see things by the blaze of imagination ?' We are more disposed to listen to Sir Egerton when he deals with his own kindred of the literary world. His sketches of some minor poets and authors of various sorts are lively, and we believe, on the whole, true. Thus, of the Swan of Litchfield,' he says :
Miss Seward had not the art of making friends, except among the little circle whom she flattered, and who flattered her. She both gave offence and provoked ridicule by her affectation, and bad taste, and pompous pretensions. It cannot be denied that she sometimes showed flashes of genius; but never in continuity. She believed that poetry rather lay in the diction than in the thought; and I am not acquainted with any literary letters, which exhibit so much corrupt judgment, and so many false beauties, as her's. Her sentiments are palpably studied, and disguised, and dressed up. No. thing seems to come from the heart, but all to be put on. I understand the André family say, that in the “ Monody on Major André," all about his attachment, and Honora Sneyd, &c., is a nonsensical falsehood, of her own invention. Among her numerous sonnets, there are not above five or six which are good; and I cannot doubt that Dr. Darwin's hand is in many of her early poems. The inequalities of all her compositions are of the nature of patch-work."
To come to higher game--here are his brief and stinging reminiscences of Cumberland :
• He had a vast memory, and a great facility of feeble verbiage; but his vanity, his self-conceit, and his supercilious airs offended everybody. He was a tall, handsome man, with a fair, regular-fea-. tured face, and the appearance of good birth. For many years he resided at Tunbridge Wells, where he affected a sort of dominion over the Pantiles, and paid court, a little too servile, to rank and title. He wrote some good comedies, and was a miscellaneous writer of some popularity; but in every department he was of a secondary
class, class,-in none had he originality. He was one of Johnson's literary club, and therefore could render himself amusing by speaking of a past age of authors and eminent men. He was a most fulsome and incontinent flatterer of those who courted him.'
We think there is a deal of good sound sense in the following passage :
. I never saw a man more humble in manner, without losing his dignity, than Robert Bloomfield; but he was not easy in the company of men born and moving in a rank of society much above him; and I do not think he gained anything by suffering himself to be drawn into it. ... The surface of manners will probably be conformable to the station of one's birth and early familiarities ; but that is of little importance. Genius is not limited to birth, or to the want of it. The manners of different stations will not bend to one another without servility on one side, and humiliating graciousness on the other. It is better for both that they should keep apart, except upon rare occa-, sions.'
Sir Egerton had before written so largely and so nobly on the subject of Lord Byron, that we hardly expected to hear more about him at present: but he recurs to a favourite theme with as much zeal as ever ; and here let us call attention to a truly generous feature in Sir Egerton Brydges. He has been bitterly disappointed in his literary career--but there is not the slightest trace of envy in any of his remarks on his more successful contemporaries. To this his mind is wholly superior : he appears to have been all along among the most enthusiastic admirers of all the great poets of his time. He says :
The spring of the year I came into parliament, Lord Byron's genius began to blaze upon the world. The first canto of “Childe Harold” was published early in 1812. I was then in London, and well remember the sensation it made. I walked down Bond-Street the morning of its publication, and saw it in the windows of all the booksellers' shops. I entered a shop and read a few stanzas, and was not surprised to find something extraordinary in them, because I myself had anticipated much from his " Hours of Idleness." Lord Nugent's 66 Portugal” was published the same day, but had a very different reception; yet at that time Lord Nugent was considered to be of a much more flourishing family, and moving in a much higher sphere ; so that the public does not always judge by mere fashion.'
(What an important admission in favour of this wicked and unjust world, that it did not after all prefer Portugal' to · Childe Harold !)
This mighty fame was the affair of a day-nay, of an houra minute. The train was laid-it caught fire, and it blazed. If it had missed fire at first, I doubt if there would have been a second chance. It began at noon; before night the flame was strong enough