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members of his own body upon the danger and inexprdiency of holding out against the immutable and unconquerable instincts of human nature. The only exception that I recollect to these remarks, occurs in his speeches against the Union. There he boldly plunged into first principles; as among other instances when he exclaimed," I in the most express terms deny the competency of parliament to do this act—I warn you, do not dare to lay your hand on the Constitution. I tell you, that, if circumstanced as you are you pass this act, it will be a nullity, and that no man in Ireland will be bound to obey it. I make the assertion deliberately—I repeat it—and I call on any man who hears me to take down my words ; you have not been elected for this purpose-you are appointed to make laws, and not legislatures. You are appointed to act under the Constitution, not to alter it; to exercise the functions of legislators, and not to transfer them ; and if you do so, your act is a dissolution of the government : you resolve society into its original elements, and no man in the land is bound to obey you." Yet even here, and in some bolder declarations on the same occasion, I am inclined to suspect that Mr. Plunket assumed this indignant tone rather as a member of the assembly whose independence was assailed, than from any impassioned sympathy with the general rights of the body that he represented. Had the question been a popular reform, instead of the extinction of the Irish parliament, he would in all likelihood have been equally vehement in resisting the innovation.
Mr. Plunket's general reading is said to be limited; and if we may judge from the rareness of his allusions to the great writers of ancient and modern times, the opinion is not unfounded. When he was about to appear in the British parliament in 1812, it was whispered among his friends that he prepared himself with information on the general state of European politics from the most ordinary sources : he wanted facts, and he took the shortest and easiest method of collecting them. I have understood that up to a recent period, he frequently employed his leisure hours upon some elementary treatise of pure mathematics. If the fact be so, it affords a striking proof of the vigour of a mind which could find a relaxation in such a pursuit.
I have already glanced at a resemblance between Mr. Plunket and the late Sir Samuel Romilly. If I were to pursue the comparison into the private characters of the two men, the points of similarity would multiply, and in no particular more strikingly than in the softness and intensity of their domestic affections. But this is sacred ground: yet I cannot forbear to mention that it fell to my lot (when last in Ireland) sitting as a public auditor in the gallery of the Court of Chancery, to witness a burst of sensibility, which, coming from such a man as Mr. Plunket, and in such a place, sent an electric thrill of sympathy and respect through the breasts of the audience. An aged lady, on the day after her husband's death, had signed a paper resigning her right to a portion of property to which she became entitled by his decease, and the question was, whether her mind at the time was perfectly calm and collected. Mr. Plunket insisted that it was not in human nature that she could be so at such a crisis :-“ She had received a blow such as stuns the strongest minds; after a union of half a century, of uninterrupted affection, to find the husband, the friend, the daily companion, suddenly called away for ever!" He was proceeding to describe
the first anguish and perturbation of spirit that must befal the survivor of such a relation, when he suddenly recognized in the picture all that he had himself a little while before endured. The recollection quite subdued him—he faltered, and became inarticulate even to sobbing. I cannot describe the effect produced throughout the Court.
I have thus attempted to present a sketch of this eminent Irishman, in matters of intellect unquestionably the most eminent that now exists. If I intended it to be any thing but a hasty sketch, I should feel that I have been unjust to him : some of his powers_his wit and irony, for example, in both of which he excels, and his cutting and relentless sarcasın where vice and folly are to be exposed- have been altogether unnoticed ; but his is the “ versatile ingenium,” and in offering the result of my observations upon it, I have been compelled to select rather what I could best describe, than what I most admired; and even if I had succeeded in a delineation of all the powers that raise Mr. Plunket above ordinary men, I should have had to add, that our admiration of him is not limited by what we actually witness. We speculate upon his great attributes of intellect, and ask, “what might they not have achieved, had his destiny placed him in the situation most favourable to their perfect developement? If, instead of wasting them upon questions of transitory interest, he had dedicated them solely to the purposes of general science-to metaphysics, mathematics, legislation, morals, or (what is but spoken science) to that best and rarest kind of eloquence which awakes the passions only that they may listen to the voice of truth—to what a height and permanence of fame might they not have raised him?” These reflections perpetually force themselves upon Mr. Plunket's admirers : we lament to see the vigour of such a mind squandered upon a profession and a province. We are incessantly reminded, that, high and successful as his career has been, his opportunities have been far beneath his resources, and thus, judging him rather by what he could do, than what he has done, we are disposed to speak of him in terms of encomium which no records of his genius will remain to justify.*
TO THE HARVEST MOON.
Rejoicing in thy sway, fair Queen of night!
Sweet orb ! thou smilest from thy starry height,
But whilst on them thy beams are shining bright,
Earth hath fulfill'd her trust through all her lands;
And the great Master in his Vineyard stands :
Come to his gates, alas ! with empty hands.
* Since the above was written Mr. Plunket has become once more Attorney General for Ireland.
CAPRICE. Love is a bird of summer skies ;
From cold and from winter he soon departs: He basks in the beam of good-hụmour'd eyes,
And delights in the warmth of open hearts : But where he has once found chill and rain, He seldom returns to that bower again. Harriet's brow was passing fair,
And Love, in the shape of a mortal sprite, Came to bask in the sunshine there,
And plume his soft wings for delight: But a wintry cloud would oft come o'er,
And then, for a time,
Without reason or rhyme,
As a cloud pass’d by,
No one knew why,
Till he came to a bower that stood hard by;
But, morning and night,
It beam'd ever bright,
For all was here
Without shadow, or fear,
Saw Love in the garden, and told the maid,
Reclin'd in the bower of Adelaide,
To recover the hearts their caprice has lost,
bitter hour, The danger of playing with Love, to their cost. Many a day and week pass’d by,
And Harriet, though she would not tell
That she loved the wanderer much and well,
By some kind friend, in a roundabout way,
The weather in future might be more gay.
I am perfectly happy and free from care;
ADVANTAGES OF HAVING NO HEAD!
The very head and front of my offending
SHAKSPEARE. I hate the man who can never see more than one side of a question -who has but a single idea, and that perhaps a wrong one.—No, I adopt an impression zealously, perhaps erroneously, but I forget not the “ uudi alteram partem.” I can plead my own cause, but I have not given myself a retaining fee; I am therefore open to conviction, and forward to acknowledge all that may be reasonably claimed by my opponents. Candour and liberality are my motto, in the spirit of which I begin with confessing, that there are occasions when that bulbous excrescence termed a head may be deemed a handy appendage. As a peg to hang hats on-as a barber's block for supporting wigs, or a milliner's for showing off bonnets--as a target for shooting at when rendered conspicuous by a shining helmet-as a snuff-box or a chatterbox—as a machine for stretching nightcaps, or fitting into a guillotine, or for shaking when we have nothing to say: in all these capacities it is indisputably a most useful piece of household furniture. Yet, as far as my own experience goes, its inconveniences so fearfully predominate over its accommodations, that if I could not have been born a column without any capital, made compact and comfortable by an ante-natal decollation, I would at least have chosen to draw my first breath among
· The Anthropophagi and men whose heads
Do grow beneath iheir shoulders”that by carrying mine adversary in this manner, locked up as it were in mine own chest, I might keep him in as good subjection as St. Patrick did when he swam across the Liffey, and be the better enabled to stomach whatever miseries he might entail upon me.
Away with the hackneyed boast so pompously put forth by simpletons who have no pretensions to the distinction they claim for the race—that man only has a reasoning head. Tant pis pour lui. If he possess this fine privilege he treats it as worldlings sometimes do their fine clothes -he values it so highly that he has not the leart to use it, or shew it in his conduct. His reason lies in the wardrobe of his brain till it becomes moth-eaten, or if he exert it at all, it is that it may commit a moral suicide and try to get rid of itself. Never so happy as when he can escape from this blessing, he dozes away as much of it as he can in sleep-or blows out his highly vaunted brains every evening with a bottle of port wine-or tells you, with a paviour's sigh, that the happiest man is the laughing lunatic who finds his straw-crown and jointstool throne a most delightful exchange for all the vanity and vexation of irrational reason. Now, if a man could but leave off at his neckmake his shoulders the ultima Thule of his figure-convert himself into a pollard, all this would be accomplished at once. He would not belong to either the family of the Longheads or the Wrongheads; he would be neither headstrong nor headlong; he could not be over head and ears in debt or in love; head-ach, and face-ach, and toothach, and ear-ach, would be to him as gorgons and griffins, and harpies --imaginary horrors ; ophthalmick medicines he needs not; he neither runs his head into danger nor against a wall, and whether corn be high or low---rents paid or unpaid- the five per cents. reduced to four, or the three per cents. to nothing, he cares not, for there is no earthly matter about which he can trouble his head. A chartered libertine, he laughs in his sleeve) at kings and parliaments; the wandering Jew, St. Leon, or Melmoth were not more impassive; guillotines and new drops have for him no more terrors than has a thumbscrew for a sprat, or light boots for an oyster ; Jack Ketch and the Headman are no more formidable to him than are the Centaurs and Amazons to us. --"Let the gall'a jade wince, his withers are unwrung." The happy headless rogue pays neither powder nor capitation tax. The London Tavern and the Crown and Anchor are his patrimonial kitchens, wherein he alone may reckon without his host. All ordinaries are at his mercy; he may gorge with his friends until the revel rout be dispersed by the watchmen. “The sloe-juice and ratsbane, and such kind of stuff,” be it ever so villainous, can never get up into his brain, and as to the reckoning in all these cases, it is so much a-head --and what is that to him?
It may be thought that I have said enough upon this no-head, but I cannot refrain from adding, that a man thus happily truncated would possess immense advantages over his companions, should the guardians of the night break in upon his symposia as I have imagined, for he could not be tweaked by the nose, nor thrust out head and shoulders; although he might tumble downstairs without any risk of breaking his neck or fracturing his skull. During life he might play as many pranks as Yorick the king's jester, and after death no Hamlet could exclaim over his remains"Why, will he suffer this knave to knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of his action of battery ?"
Plato's Atlantis, and Sir Thomas Moore's Utopia, and Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, would all be realised in the felicitous life of such a being as I have suggested. But methinks I hear my fair readers exclaim, what happiness is there without love, and where would such an animal find a mistress? Do we not already hear husbands often complaining that their wives have no heads, and rice versá? Besides, might he not seek the original “good woman," of whom a de-capital likeness is suspended at a public house sign at Shoreditch, and another at Walworth, neither of which did I ever pass in
suburban rambles without many marital yearnings, and longings, and aspirations ? These were the only beatific visions that ever identified to me the conception of the novelists and dramatists—Love at first Sight. That stump of a neck is irresistible. In the event of a marriage thus constituted, some 'difficulty might occur as to the responses, but it could be obviated by signs as in the unions of our deaf and dumb, not by a nod or shake of the head indeed, but by some equally intelligible indication; and methinks I could rival Catullus himself in composing an epithalamium for such a nuptial pair, for I might safely predicate that they would never lay their heads together to hatch mischief, nor run them against one another in anger, nor lose their time in kissing, nor fall together by the No fear of Bluebeards in this happy state, which, if it could be universally accomplished, would at once restore to us the Saturnia regna--the golden age--the millennium.
Envious, and timid, and jealous people, are perpetually on the watch to oppose every improvement as revolutionary innovation ; and