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"I hope your parliament has finished all its absurdities, and that you will be at leisure to come over here to attend your club, where you will do much more good than all the patriots in the world ever did to any body, viz. you will make very many of your friends extremely happy; and you know Goldsmith has informed us, that no form of government ever contributed either to the happiness or misery of any one. I saw a letter from Foote, giving an account of an Irish tragedy. The subject is Manlius; and the last speech which he makes, when he is pushed off from the Tarpeian Rock, is, "Sweet Jesus, where am I going?" Pray send me word if this is true. We have a new comedy here, which is good for nothing. Bad as it is, however, it succeeds very well, and has almost killed Goldsmith with envy. I have no news either literary or political, to send you. Every body, except myself, and about a million of vulgars are in the country. I am closely confined, as Lady Di. expects to be so every hour." p. 178.
"I must now entreat you to lay aside your politics for some time, and to consider, that the taking care of your health is one of the most public-spirited things that you can possibly do; for, notwithstanding your vapour about Ireland, I do not believe that you can very well spare one honest man. Our politicians, on this side of the water are all asleep; but I hear they are to be awakened next Monday, by a printer, who is ordered to attend the bar of the House, for having abused Sir Fletcher Norton. They have already passed a vote, that Sir Fletcher's character is immaculate, and will most certainly punish the printer very severely, if a trifling circumstance does not prevent them, viz. that the printer should, as he most probably will, refuse to attend. Our club has dwindled away to nothing. Nobody attends but Mr. Chambers; and he is going to the East Indies. Sir Joshua and Goldsmith have got into such a round of pleasures, that they have no time. In my next I will send you a long history of all our friends; and particularly an account how twelve thousand pounds may be paid without advancing one single shilling. This is certainly very convenient; and, if you can get rid of all your feeling and morality before my next letter arrives, you may put it in practice, as probably it has not yet been introduced into Ireland." p. 179.
"Why should you be vexed to find that mankind are fools and knaves? I have known it so long, that every fresh instance of it amuses me, provided it does not immediately affect my friends or myself. Politicians do not seem to me to be much greater rogues than other people; and as their actions affect, in general, private persons less than other kinds of villany do, I cannot find that I am so angry with them. It is true, that the leading men in both countries at present, are, I believe, the most corrupt, abandoned people in the nation. But now that I am upon this worthy subject of human nature, I will inform you of a few particulars relating to the discovery of Otaheite." p. 180.
"There is another curiosity here, Mr. Bruce. His drawings are the most beautiful things you ever saw, and his adventures more wonderful than those of Sinbad the sailor,--and perhaps as true. I am much more afflicted with the account you send me of your health,
than I am at the corruption of your ministers. I always hated politics and I now hate them ten times worse; as I have reason to think that they contribute towards your ill health. You do me great justice in thinking, that whatever concerns you, must interest me; but as I wish you most sincerely to be perfectly happy, I cannot bear to think that the villainous proceedings of others should make you miserable: for, in that case, undoubtedly, you will never be happy. Charles Fox is a member at the Turk's Head; but not till he was a patriot; and you know, if one repents, &c. There is nothing new, but Goldsmith's Retaliation, which you certainly have seen. Pray tell Lady Charlemont, from me, that I desire she may keep you from politics, as they do children from sweetmeats, that make them sick." p. 181, 182.
We look upon these extracts as very interesting and valuable; but they have turned out to be so long, that we must cut short this private branch of the history. We must add, however, a part of Lord Charlemont's account of Mr. Burke, with whom he lived in habits of the closest intimacy, and continual correspondence, till his extraordinary breach with his former political associates in 1792. Mr. Hardy does not exactly know at what period the following paper, found in Lord Charlemont's handwriting, was written.
"This most amiable and ingenious man, was private secretary to Lord Rockingham. It may not be superfluous to relate the following anecdote, the truth of which I can assert, and which does honour to him and his truly noble patron. Soon after Lord Rockingham, upon the warm recommendation of many friends, had appointed Burke his secretary, the Duke of Newcastle informed him, that he had unwarily taken into his service a man of dangerous principles, and one who was by birth and education a papist and a jacobite; a calumny founded upon Burke's Irish connexions, which were most of them of that persuasion, and upon some juvenile follies arising from those connexions. The Marquis, whose genuine Whiggism was easily alarmed, imme diately sent for Burke, and told him what he had heard. It was easy for Burke, who had been educated at the university in Dublin, to bring testimonies to his protestantism; and with regard to the second accusation, which was wholly founded on the former, it was soon done away; and Lord Rockingham, readily and willingly disabused, declared that he was perfectly satisfied of the falsehood of the information he had received, and that he no longer harboured the smallest doubt of the integrity of his principles; when Burke, with an honest and dis interested boldness, told his Lordship that it was now no longer possi ble for him to be his secretary; that the reports he had heard would probably, even unknown to himself, create in his mind such suspicions, as might prevent his thoroughly confiding in him; and that no earthly consideration should induce him to stand in that relation, with a man who did not place entire confidence in him. The Marquis, struck with this manliness of sentiment, which so exactly corresponded with
the feelings of his own heart, frankly and positively assured him, that what had passed, far from leaving any bad impression on his mind, had only served to fortify his good opinion; and that if from no other reason, he might rest assured, that from his. conduct upon that occasion alone, he should ever esteem, and place in him the most unreserved confidential trust-a promise which he faithfully performed. Neither had he at any time, nor his friends after his death, the least reason to repent of that confidence; Burke having ever acted towards him with the most inviolate faith and affection, and towards his surviving friends with a constant and disinterested fidelity, which was proof against his own indigent circumstances, and the magnificent offers of those in power. It must, however, be confessed, that his early habits and connexions, though they could never make him swerve from his duty, had given his mind an almost constitutional bent towards the popish party. Prudence is, indeed, the only virtue he does not possess; from a total want of which, and from the amiable weaknesses of an excellent heart, his estimation in England, though still great, is certainly diminished." p. 343, 344.
We have hitherto kept Mr. Hardy himself so much in the back ground, that we think it is but fair to lay before the reader the sequel which he has furnished to the preceding notice of Lord Charlemont. The passage is perfectly characteristic of the ordinary colloquial style of the book, and of the temper of the author; though the concluding paragraph is rather a stronger instance of bathos, produced by good nature, than he often exhibits.
"Thus far Lord Charlemont. Something, though slight, may be here added. Burke's disunion, and final rupture with Mr. Fox, were attended with circumstances so distressing, so far surpassing the ordinary limits of civil rage, or personal hostility, that the mind really aches at the recollection of them. But let us view him, for an instant, in better scenes and better hours. He was social, hospitable, of pleasing access, and most agreeably communicative. One of the most satisfactory days perhaps that I ever passed in my life, was going with him, tête à-tête, from London to Beconsfield. He stopped at Uxbridge, whilst his horses were feeding; and, happening to meet some gentlemen, of I know not what militia, who appeared to be perfect strangers to him, he entered into discourse with them at the gateway of the inn. His conversation, at that moment, completely exemplified what Johnson said of him-That you could not meet Burke for half an hour under a shed, without saying that he was an extraordinary man.' He was, on that day, altogether uncommonly instructive and agreeable. Every object of the slightest notoriety, as we passed along, whether of natural or local history, furnished him with abundant materials for conversation. The House at Uxbridge, where the treaty was held during Charles the First's time; the beautiful and undulating grounds of Bulstrode, formerly the residence of Chancellor Jef
feries; and Waller's tomb in Beconsfield churchyard, which, before we went home, we visited, and whose character, as a gentleman, a poet, and an orator, he shortly delineated, but with exquisite felicity of genius, altogether gave an uncommon interest to his eloquence; and although one-and-twenty years have now passed since that day, I entertain the most vivid and pleasing recollection of it. He reviewed the characters of many statesmen. Lord Bath's whom, I think, he personally knew, and that of Sir Robert Walpole, which he pourtrayed in nearly the same which he used with regard to that eminent man, in his appeal from the Old Whigs to the New. He talked much of the great Lord Chatham; and, amidst a variety of particulars concerning him and his family, stated, that his sister, Mrs. Anne Pitt, used often in her altercations with him, to say, 'That he knew nothing whatever except Spenser's Fairy Queen.' And,' continued Mr. Burke, no matter how that was said; but whoever relishes, and reads Spenser as he ought to be read, will have a strong hold of the English language.' These were his exact words. Of Mrs. Ann Pitt he said, that she had the most agreeable and uncommon talents, and was, beyond all comparison, the most perfectly eloquent person he ever heard speak. He always, as he said, lamented that he did not put on paper a conversation he had once with her; on what subject I forget. The richness, variety, and solidity of her discourse, absolutely astonished him.
"But I restrain myself. Before I take leave of this truly eminent man, so long connected with Lord Charlemont, and whose fame, as an author and philosophic statesman and orator, of the highest rank, is now so stabilitated! let me add, (and it is a slight tribute to modest and retired worth to add), that Mrs. Burke appeared to me a lady of uncommonly mild, gentle, and most engaging manners." p. 344, 346.
We should now take our leave of Mr. Hardy;-and yet it would not be fair to dismiss him from the scene entirely, without giving our readers one or two specimens of his gift of drawing characters; in the exercise of which he generally rises to a sort of quaint and brilliant conciseness, and displays a degree of acuteness and fine observation that are not to be found in the other parts of his writing. His greatest fault is, that he does not abuse any body,-even where the dignity of history and of virtue call loudly for such an infliction. Yet there is something in the tone of all his delineations, that satisfies us that there is nothing worse than extreme good nature at the bottom of this forbearance. Of Philip Tisdall, who was Attorney-general when Lord Charlemont first came into Parliament, he says,
"He had an admirable and most superior understanding; an understanding matured by years-by long experience-by habits with the best company from his youth-with the bar, with Parliament, with The State. To this strength of intellect was added a constitutional
philosophy, or apathy, which never suffered him to be carried away by attachment to any party, even his own. He saw men and things so clearly; he understood so well the whole farce and fallacy of life, that it passed before him like a scenic representation; and, till almost the close of his days, he went through the world with a constant sun. shine of soul, and an inexorable gravity of feature. His countenance was never gay, and his mind was never gloomy. He was an able speaker, as well at the bar as in the House of Commons, though his diction was very indifferent. He did not speak so much at length as many of his parliamentary coadjutors, though he knew the whole of the subject much better than they did. He was not only a good speaker in Parliament, but an excellent manager of the House of Commons. He never said too much. He had great merit in what he did not say; for Government was never committed by him. He plung ed into no difficulty; nor did he ever suffer his antagonist to escape from one." p. 78, 79.
Of Hussey Burgh, afterwards Lord Chief Baron, he observes,
"His speeches, when he first entered the House of Commons, were very brilliant, very figurative, and far more remarkable for that elegant, poetic taste, which had highly distinguished him when a member of the university, than any logical illustration, or depth of argument. But as he was blessed with great endowments, every session took away somewhat from the unnecessary splendour and redundancy of his harangues. To make use of a phrase of Cicero, in speaking of his own improvement in eloquence, his orations were gradually deprived of all fever. To those who never heard him, as the fashion of this world, in eloquence as in all things, soon passes away, it may be no easy matter to convey a just indea of his style of speaking. It differed totally from the models which have been presented to us by some of the great masters of rhetoric in later days. It was sustained by great ingenuity, great rapidity of intellect, luminous and piercing satire; in refinement abundant, in simplicity sterile. The classical allusions of this orator, for he was most truly one, were so apposite, they followed each other in such bright and varied succession, and, at times, spread such an unexpected and triumphant blaze around his subject, that all persons, who were in the least tinged with literature, could never be tired of listening to him; and when Hussey Burgh, in the splendid days of the Volunteer Association, alluding to some coercive English laws, and to that institution, then in its proudest array, said in the House of Commons, "That such laws were sown like dragons' teeth, and sprung up in armed men," the applause which followed, and the glow of enthusiasm which he kindled in every mind, far exceed my powers of description." p. 140, 141.
His account of Flood, is not very discriminating
"He came into Parliament," he says, "and spoke during the administration of the Earl of Halifax. Hamilton's success, as a speaker,