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Art. I.-1. Memorials and Correspondence of Charles James
For. Edited by LORD John Russell. 2 vols. 8vo. Lon
don : 1853. 2. Memoirs of the Court and Cabinets of George the Third, from
original Family Documents. By the DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM AND CHANDOS, K.G. 2 vols. 8vo. Second edition, revised. London : 1853. Tuese two publications throw so much light on the political
history of England during the latter part of the last century, that, although they are both unfinished, we think it right to give our readers an account of their contents, without waiting for their completion.
The late Lord Holland, having abandoned his original design of writing the life of his uncle, Mr. Fox, made a full compilation of authentic materials for his biography, partly consisting of letters and other documents, partly of records of the recollections of his surviving friends. Lord Holland, unhappily, left this compilation unfinished at his death ; but it afterwards passed into the hands of his confidential friend, Mr. Allen, who was in every way qualified to complete the work which had been thus begun. Mr. Allen appears to have brought the materials into a state fitted for publication — but the MS. was not sent to the press, and it passed into the possession of Lord John Russell by the bequest of the late Lady Holland. Lord John has now given it to the world in the state in which it was.
VOL. XCIX. NO. CCI.
left by Lord Holland and Mr. Allen, but with the addition of some ably-written and judicious comments of his own. As the work consists of a substratum of original materials, illustrated by the independent annotations of three commentators, which are distinguished by certain typographical marks, it presents (as Lord John observes) "a disjointed and irregular appearance. It has the form of a collection of Fox manuscripts, with variorum notes. Nevertheless it contains so much authentic information, accompanied with criticism so intelligent and so candid, that no Englishman who desires to understand the history of his country between the years 1768 and 1792, can fail to read it with advantage and pleasure. Lord John, indeed, says of the work which he edits, that its greatest value will be found in the • letters of Mr. Fox to Lord Holland, written between 1790 and • 1805. These letters are more literary than political, and show how keen was Mr. Fox's enjoyment of poetry, especially Greek
and Italian.' Of the series of letters thus described only a few appear in these volumes ; but we think that Lord John scarcely does justice to the value of the documents and papers which he has already published; for many of them are highly important, and the period to which they relate comprises the most active and prominent portion of Fox's political life. *
The materials for the publication to which the name of the Duke of Buckingham is attached, are family papers which have been preserved at Stowe. There are some interesting letters written by Mr. Thomas Grenville when employed in diplomatic service on the Continent; but by far the most valuable portion of the work consists of the letters of Mr. William Grenville (afterwards Lord Grenville) to his elder brother, the Marquis of Buckingham. These letters were evidently written in the strictest confidence, without premeditation, and with no idea that they would ever be given to the public. For this reason they cannot fairly be compared with official or semi-official letters, which are composed in a guarded and reserved style. But, on account of their familiar and unstudied character, they afford the stronger evidence of the sagacity, judgment, and undeviating good temper of their distinguished author. The task of editing the valuable materials which he had extracted from his family archives, has been committed by the Duke of
Duke of materials Potion of Fox relate coom are hi capers whic,
* There exist two biographical accounts of Mr. Fox. One is intitled Memoirs of the Public Life of the late Right Honourable *C. J. Fox,' by R. Fell, in 2 vols. 8vo. 1808. The other is Memoirs
of the latter Years of the Right Honourable C. J. Fox,' by J. B. Trotter, Esq., late Private Secretary to Mr. Fox. 1 vol. 8vo. 1811. Neither work is at all satisfactory.
Buckingham to some person whose ignorance of the events and persons of the period, and whose consequent incapacity for the work, almost exceed belief. Most of the errors of this scandalously incompetent editor have been already pointed out by a contemporary * ; but are nevertheless, with a few exceptions, faithfully reproduced in the new edition.f Before the con
* Thus the strange blunder that the Marquis of Rockingham was succeeded in his title by his nephew, the Earl Fitzwilliam,' stands uncorrected in vol. i. p. 48. of the new and revised edition. Seeing tbat the present Earl Fitzwilliam is the son and immediate successor of the Earl Fitzwilliam who is supposed to have inherited the title of Rockingham, it might have occurred to the Editor to doubt the accuracy of his statement.
† Even after the rich harvest of blunders gathered in by the Quarterly Reviewer, a few still remain to be gleaned. Thus in vol. i. p. 185., Lord Grenville, in giving a rumoured list of the Coalition Cabinet, says, 'Lord Keppel to return. Query, whether he is by this means to be in the cabinet with Twitcher? I think he should appoint St. Hugh a Junior Lord.' By Twitcher is meant Lord Sandwich, who was supposed to have instigated the court-martial against Lord Keppel. St. Hugh is evidently a misprint for Sir Hugh; that is, Sir Hugh Palliser, whose bitter feud with Lord Keppel is well known. At the end of the letter, the quotation • amicitiæ sempiternæ, inimicitiæ placabiles,' is used sarcastically in reference to Fox, who had cited the sentence in the House of Commons as a justification of the Coalition (17. Feb. 1783).
In vol. i. p. 372., the following passage occurs in one of Lord Grenville's letters:— We are a little uneasy on account of Tippoo, • who had made peace with the Mahrattas, and was collecting his * forces with a view of attacking the Nizam, or the Rajah of Gravan
core, whom we must protect, or the Camatre itself.' For Gravancore read Travancore, and for Camatre read Carnatic.
Again in p. 416. "You have never sent me any answer about the Cranbourne chair proposal, by which means that business is de• layed ;' where for chair read chase.
In vol. ii. p. 52., Wm. Gerard Hamilton is, by the interposition of a comma, divided into two persons, Gerard and Hamilton.
In vol. ij. p. 393., Lord Grenville writes on May 25. 1798, O'Connor's acquittal is imputed to Miller's charge, and that to his being completely exhausted, so as to omit some of the most material points in the evidence.' Who ever heard of Judge Miller at the end of the last century ? The reference is to the celebrated case of O'Quigley, Arthur O'Connor, and three others, who were tried for treason at Maidstone, on May 21. and 22. 1798. The judge who summed up was Mr. Justice Buller; O'Quigley was convicted, and afterwards hanged; Arthur O'Connor, and the three others, were acquitted.
In the following sentence from a letter written by Lord Grenville,
tinuation of this work is published, we trust that an editor may be found who has heard of the duel between Pitt and Tierney, and who knows that Cuxhaven is not in Ireland.
Mr. Fox was first returned to the Parliament which inet on the 10th of May, 1768, being then only nineteen years and four months old. He sat for the borough of Midhurst; his seat having, as it appears, been purchased by his father, Lord Holland. He came into Parliament as a supporter of the Government, of which the Duke of Grafton was then the head ; and was, following his father's politics, an eager opponent of Wilkes. He began, even at the age of twenty, to show his remarkable powers of parliamentary debate"; and some of his earliest speeches, as we learn from the unwilling testimony of Horace Walpole, produced a strong impression upon the House.* In February 1770 — being in his twenty-first year-he accepted
in Nov. 1788, a negative appears to be wanting :-* The party in 'general are so hungry and impatient, that I think they will [not?] • act upon the better judgment of their leaders, and prevent them (from doing anything which allows a moment's delay.' (Vol. ii. p. 24.)
While the Editor details at length those well-known events which may be found in the 'Annual Register,' or any ordinary history of the time, he omits to explain those less obvious allusions on which a reader is most likely to desire explanation. Thus in vol. i. p. 258., Lord Grenville writes, on May 7. 1783:-'I am in some doubt what 'to do about coming over to you, as on account of the prince's • death, there is no levee to-day, nor, I fear, on Friday. The prince here alluded to is Prince Octavius, son of George III., who died on May 3. at Kew Palace, of inoculation for the small pox, aged four years.
In vol. ii. p. 63. 'I was a little mortified at finding our friend Sir · P. P. among them. Sir P. P. is Sir Peter Parker, as appears by a list in a subsequent page, p. 83.
Vol. ii. p. 139. Pitt authorises me to say that he could find the . means of opening a ten shilling government for him in England
immediately. A ten shilling government is a small military command with a pay of ten shillings per diem.
Vol. ii. p. 377. In a letter of May 3. 1797, Lord Grenville says to Lord Buckingham, — 'Have you seen my Prince? He is sensible * and well-informed, though not exactly the picture of a young lover.' The Prince alluded to is the Prince of Wirtemberg, who was married to the Princess Royal on May 13. 1797, and whose figure, of extraordinary obesity, was certainly not that of a young lover.
* Both Fox and Pitt showed their uncommon powers of parliamentary speaking from their earliest attempts. Sir R. Walpole, on the other hand, who for courage, readiness, and dexterity in debate, was afterwards second to none, failed in his first speech. See 'Lord *Mahon's History,' vol. i. p. 265. Ed. 12mo.
the office of a Junior Lord of the Admiralty, shortly after the appointment of Lord North as First Minister, upon the resignation of the Duke of Grafton.* In the Session of 1772, Mr. Fox made a motion for the repeal of the Marriage Act; on which occasion Horace Walpole - a witness whose language must not always be construed strictly-gives the following account.
• When he had moved this repeal, he had not read the Marriage Act, nor did he till some days after. A few evenings before he had been at Brompton on two errands; one, to consult Justice Fielding on the penal laws, the other to borrow 10,0001., which he brought to town at the hazard of being robbed. As the gaming and extravagance of young men of quality had arrived now at a pitch never heard of, it is worth while to give some account of it. They bad a club at Almack's, in Pall Mall, where they played only for rouleaus of 501. each, and generally there was 10,0001. in specie on the table. Lord Holland had paid above 20,0001, for his two sons. Nor were the manners of the gamesters, or even their dresses for play, undeserving notice. They began by pulling off their embroidered clothes and put on frieze great coats, or turned their coats inside outwards for luck. They put on pieces of leather (such as are worn by footmen when they clean the knives) to save their laced ruffles; and to guard their eyes from the light, and to prevent tumbling their hair, wore highcrowned straw hats with broad brims, and adorned with flowers and ribbons ; masks to conceal their emotions when they played at quinze. Each gamester had a small neat stand by him to hold their tea, or a wooden bowl with an edge of ormolu to hold their rouleaus. Tbey borrowed great sums of Jews at exorbitant premiums. Charles Fox called his outward room, where those Jews waited till he rose, his Jerusalem Chamber.' (Mem. of Fox, vol. i. p. 70.)
On the 20th of February 1772, Fox, being then in his twenty-third year, resigned his seat at the Admiralty Board. His resignation was due, partly to some personal discontent with Lord North, but chiefly to his intention of opposing the Royal Marriage Act, a measure then in preparation, much desired by the King, but reluctantly adopted by his Ministers. While the Bill was pending in Parliament, the King wrote to Lord North in the following terms :- I expect every nerve to be strained to carry the Bill. It is not a question relating to administrations, but personally to myself ; therefore I have a ' right to expect a hearty support from every one in my service,
and I shall remember defaulters.' It is evident from the King's language that no person who voted against this Bill could
* The popular belief that Lord Bute continued to exercise a secret influence over the King, after his retirement from office, is, we may remark, conclusively refuted by the evidence adduced in vol. i. pp. 65–68. of the Memorials of Fox.'