Imágenes de página


count for talents; respectability for respectability. William Ruffhead. You must do something to The veriest fag that Dundas ever breeched for the help him : a diversion on the coast of France South gives as efficient a vote as a Romilly or a would be sufficient: order one for him : in six Newport.

months he may fairly pocket his quiet twenty In the beginning of my career as minister, I thousands, and have his paltry three guineas aday sometimes wished that I could have become so and for life. Write above the name, “ deputy comhave been consistent. I have since found that missary." Ruffhead is so honest a creature, he inconsistency is taken for a proof of greatness in a will only be a dogfish in a shoal of sharks. politician. · He knows how to manage men; he Never consent to any reduction in the national sces what the times require : his great mind expenditure. Consider what is voted by parliabends majestically to the impulse of the world.” ment for public services as your own property. These things are said, or will be. Certain is, The largest estate in England would go but a when a robe is blown out by the wind, showing little way in procuring you partisans and adhenow the outer side, now the inner, then one colour, rents : these loosely counted millions purchase then another, it seems the more capacious, and them. I have smiled when people in the simthe richer.

plicity of their hearts applauded me for neglecting If at any time you are induced by policy, or the aggrandisement of my fortune. Every rood impelled by nature, to con an action more of land in the British dominions ha a mine ungenerous or more dishonest than usual; if at beneath it, out of which, by a vote of parliament, anytime you shall have brought the country into I oblige the proprietor to extract as much as I worse disgrace or under more imminent danger; want, as often as I will. From every tobacco-pipe talk and look bravely : swear, threaten, bluster : in England a dependent of mine takes a whiff; be witty, be pious : sneer, scoff: look infirm, look from every salt-vase a spoonful. I have given gouty : appeal to immortal God that you desire more to my family than is possessed by those of to remain in office so long only as you can be bene- Tamerlane and Aurungzebe; and I distribute to ficial to your king and country: that however, at the amount of fifty millions a-year in the manner such a time as the present, you should be reluc- I deem convenient. What is any man's private tant to leave the most flourishing of nations a purse other than that into which he can put his prey to the wild passions of insatiate demagogues: hand at his option ? Neither my pocket nor my and that nothing but the commands of your vene- house, neither the bank nor the treasury, neither rable sovran, and the unequivocal voice of the London nor Westminster, neither England nor people that recommended you to his notice, shall Europe, are capacious enough for mine : it swings ever make you desert the station to which the between the Indies, and sweeps the whole hand of Providence conducted you. They have ocean. keen eyes who can see through all these words : Canning. I am aware of it. You spend only I have never found any such, and have tried thou- what you have time and opportunity for spend. sands. The man who possesses them may read ing. No man gives better dinners : few better Swedenborg and Kant while he is being tossed in wine .. a blanket.

Pitt. Canning! Canning! Canning! always Above all things keep your friends and depen- blundering into some coarse compliment ! dents in good humour and good condition. If they Reminding me of wine, you remind me of my lose flesh, you lose people's confidence. My cook, death, and the cause of it. To spite the French two summers ago, led me to this reflection at and Bonaparte, I would not drink claret : MaWalmer. Finding him in the court-yard, and deira was too heating : hock was too light and observing that, however round and rosy, he acid for me. looked melancholy, and struck his hips with his Canning. Seltzer water takes off this effect; the fist very frequently as he walked along, I called Dean of Christchurch tells me. to him, and when he turned round, inquired Pitt. It might have made my speeches windier of him what had happened to discompose him. than was expedient; and I declined to bring He answered that Sam Spack the butcher had into action a steam-engine of such power, with failed.

Mr. Speaker in front and the treasury-bench in "Well, what then?" said I, “unless you mean rear of me. The detestable beverage of Oporto is that his creditors may come upon me for the last now burning my entrails. two years' bill.” He shook his head, and told Canning. Beverage fit for the condemned. me that he had lent Sam Spack all he was Pitt. If condemned for poisoning. worth, a good five hundred pounds.

As you must return to London in the morning, greater fool you !" replied I. “Why, sir !” said and as I may not be disposed or able to talk much he, opening his hand to show the clearness of his at another time, what remains to be said I will demonstration, “who would not have lent him say now. anything? when he swore and ate like the devil, Never be persuaded to compose a mixed admiand drank as if he was in hell, and his dog was nistration of whigs and tories : for, as you can not fatter than the best calf in Kent."

please them cqually, each will plot eternally to It occurs to me that I owe this unfortunate cook supplant you by some leader of its party. several years' wages,

Write down his name, Employ men of less knowledge and perspicacity

6 The

than yourself, if you can find them. Do not let be the occasion what it might. Neither free any stand too close or too much above; because in governments norarbitrary have such security: ours both positions they may look down into your is constituted for evasion. I hope nobody may shallows and see the weeds at the bottom. Authors ever call me the Pilot of the Escape-boat. In may be engaged by you; but never pamper them; Turkey I should have been strangled ; in Algiers keep them in wind and tractability by hard work. I should have been impaled; America I should Many of them are trusty while they are needy: have mounted the gallows in the market-place; enrich them only with promised lands, enjoying in Sweden I should have been pistoled at a public the most extensive prospect and most favourable dinner or court-ball : in England I am extolled exposure. For my part, I little respect any above my father. living author. The only one, ancient or modern, Ah Canning! how delighted, how exultant was I ever read with attention, is Bolingbroke, who I, when I first heard this acclamation! When I was recommended to me for a model. His prin- last heard it, how sorrowful ! how depressed! He ciples, his heart, his style, have formed mine was always thwarted, and always succeeded : I was exclusively: everything sits easy upon him : always seconded, and always failed. He left the mostly I like him because he supersedes inquiry : country flourishing ; I leave it impoverished, the thing best to do and to inculcate. We should exhausted, ruined. He left many able statesmen ; have been exterminated long ago, if the House of I leave you. Commons had not thought so, and had not voted Excuse me: dying men are destined to feel and us a Bill of Indemnity : which I was certain 1 privileged to say unpleasant things. could obtain as often as I should find it necessary, Good night! I retire to rest.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ARCHBISHOP BOULTER AND PHILIP SAVAGE.* Boulter. Heartily glad am I to see you, my attach to it the idea of idleness and comfort, which brother, if, in these times of calamity and desola- they contrast with their own hard labour and its tion, such a sentiment may be expressed or felt. ill requital. My wife is impatient to embrace her sister.

Two miles from Armagh, we were met by a mul. Sacage. My lord primate, I did not venture to titude of work-people; they asked my groom who bring her with me from Dublin, wishing to wait I was; he told them my name, and, perhaps in until I had explored the road, and had experi- the pride of his heart, my office. Happily they enced the temper of the people.

never had heard of the one or the other. They Boulter. I much regret her absence, and yet then inclosed me, and insisted on knowing whemore the cause of it: let me hope however that ther I came with orders from the castle, to fire nothing unexpectedly unpleasant has occurred to upon them; as had been threatened some days you ia your journey hither.

before. Satage. I came on horseback, attended by one “For what? my honest friends !” cried I. servant. Had I been prudent, he would not have “For wanting bread and asking it,” was the worn his livery; for hardly any object is more answer that ran from mouth to mouth, frequently offensive to the poor, in seasons of distress, than a repeated, and deepening at every repetition, till servant in livery, spruce and at his ease. They hoarseness and weakness made it drop and cease.

I then assured them that no such orders were * Boulter, primate of Ireland, and president of the given, or would ever be ; and that the king and council, saved that kingdom from pestilence and famine in government were deeply afflicted at their condithe year 1729, by supplying the poor with bread, medicines, tion, which however was only temporary. attendance, and every possible comfort and accommoda. Upon this there came forward one from among tion. Again in 1740 and 1741 two hundred and fifty them; and laying his hand upon the mane of my thousands were fed, twice a day, principally at his expense, as we find in La Biographie Universelle ; an horse, he laughed till he staggered. I looked at authority the least liable to suspicion. He built hospitals him in amaze. When he had recovered himself a at Drogheda and Armagh, and endowed them richly. No little from his transport, he said, “I hope you are private man, in any age or country, has contributed so honest, my friend ! for you talk like a fool, which largely to relieve the sufferings of his fellow-creatures; to which object he and his wife devoted their ample fortunes, in people of your sort is a token of it, though both during their lives and after their decease.

sometimes one no weightier than Will Wood's for Boulter was certainly the most disinterested, the most a halfpenny. But prythee now, my jewel, how humane, the most beneficent man that ever guided the can you in your conscience take upon yourself to councils of Ireland I am not certain that I should have thought of offering this tribute to his memory, if his con- say, that the king and his ministers care a flea's nection with my family by his marriage had not often rotten tooth, whether or not we crack with emptireminded me of him: for we do not always bear in mind ness and thirst, so long as our arms fill their what is due to others unless there is something at home to bellies, and drive away troublesome neighbours stimulate the recollection.

while they are napping afterward? Deeply afflicted! Philip Savage, Chancellor of the Exchequer, was likewise so irreproachable, that even Swift, the reviler of is it deeply afflicted ! O'my soul, one would think Somers, could find in him po motive for satire and no room there was as much pleasure in deep affliction as in fur discontent.

deep drinking, or even more : for many have


washed away their lands with claret, and have nothing. In my mind, I have a doubt whether, then given over drinking; but where is the good as there might be some fever left upon me, it was fellow who has done anything in this quarter by not rather the show of beef rising out of the broth, way of raising his head above such a deep afflic- than real beef. For sure enough I might mistake, tion? Has the king or his lord-lieutenant sent us as I might in thinking I was well again, when the value of a mangy sow's bristle? I may be I had still the fever; which could scarcely come mistaken, but I am apt to think that, shallow as back upon me for eating, when it had come upon we are bound to believe we are in other things, me the week before for not eating. Howsoever, our affliction is as deep as theirs, or near upon it; I went home and laid myself down and slept, and and yet we never said a word about the matter. dreamt of angels with ladles of soup in their hands, We only said we were naked and starving, and some looking ugly enough, and others laughing, quitted our cabins that we may leave to our and one of them led that very horse of yours into fathers and mothers our own beds to die on, and the cabin : I should know him again anywhere : that we may hear no longer the cries of our wives we looked in each other's face for ten minutes .. and little ones, which, let me tell you, are very then down he threw himself on me, as though I different in those who are famishing from any we were no better than ling and fern. There he would ever heard before. Deeply afflicted! Now afore have staid, I warrant, till sunrise, if it had not God! what miseries have they suffered, or have been Sunday morning.” they seen? I hear of rich people in Dublin with “How !” cried the priest. “ What then ! all such a relish for deep affiction, they will give this iniquity was committed upon the Saturday!" eighteen pence for a book to read of it.”

“ This day week,” answered the sick man, Partly in hopes of proceeding, and partly in humbled as much, I suspect, by blundering into commiseration, I slipped a guinea into the fellow's the confession, as he was by the reproof. hand. He took it, and did not thank me, but “And now, by my soul ! our Lady calls you to continuing to hold it together with my horse's an account, sinner!" said the priest angrily. “I mane, he said, “Come along with me." I thought would not wonder if the arch-heretic, you eal! it prudent to comply. At the distance of about archbishop, gave out so many thousand bowls of a mile, on the right hand, is the cabin to which soup a day, for the sake of drowning that soul of I was conducted. A wretched horse was standing yours, swiller and swine! Hither have I been half within it and balf without, and exhibiting in riding a matter of thirteen miles, to see that every his belly and ribs the clearest signs of famine and thing is going on as it ought, and not an ounce weariness. Let us hear,” said my guide, “what of oatmeal or a potato in the house." is going on.”

The poor inhabitant of the cabin sighed aloud. I dismounted and stood with him. Looking My conductor strode softly toward the priest, and, round about the tenement, I found no article of twitching him by the sleeve, asked him softly furniture; for the inhabitant was lying on the what he thought of the man's health. The poor floor, covered with his clothes only. Against the creature heard the question, and much more dis. wall of the doorway was hanging from a nail a tinctly the answer, which was, that he could not broken tin tobacco-box, kept open by a ring, which live out another day. He requested the holy man had formerly been the ornament of a pig's snout. to hear his confession : the most grievous part of Its more recent service was to make a hole in a it had been made already: but now the piece of piece of paper, on which I read, “ Notice to quit.” beef had its real size and weight given to it: he

There was a priest in the cabin, who spoke, as had eaten it with pleasure, with knowledge : he nearly as I can recollect, these words : “You are had gone to bed upon it: he had tried to sleep : the only catholic in the parish, and ought to set he had slept: he had said no more ave-maries an example to the rest of them about you.” than ordinarily. A soul labouring under such a

“Father!” said a weak voice, “you told me I mountain of sin required (God knows how many) might go to the archbishop's when I grew stouter, masses for its purgation and acquittance. and get what I could; it being the spoil of an Be aisy !” said my conductor. enemy. Such was my hunger on first recovering with our blessed Lord in Paradise by seven o'clock from the fever, and the worse perhaps from having tomorrow night, if masses can mash potatoes, or had nothing to eat for a couple of days, that, when there is buttermilk above.” the servants gave me a basin of broth, I swallowed On saying this, he pulled open the priest's hand, it. None of them had the charity to warn me slapped it with some violence, left the guinea in that it was a piece of beef which was lying at the it, and wished me a pleasant ride. I could not bottom, or to tell me that (for what they knew) it bear to let him quit me so abruptly, glad as I might be a turnip; so, without thinking at all should have been before at his departure. I asked about it, I just let it take its own way! Therс him whether the dying man was his relative. He was no more of it than the size of a good potato: a said, “No." I wished to replace his generosity healthy man would have made but four bites of somewhat more largely. it: I had a bitch that would have swallowed it at Sir !” said he, “I have enough for serera) one, when she had whelps. I have seen a man days yet : when it is gone, the archbishop will gire who would make so little of it, he would let his me what he gives the rest. As for that mass wife eat it all, at a meal or two: it was next to monger, he shall cat this rasher of bacon with me


He shall sup

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]


this blessed night, or I'll be damned.” So saying, What can be expected from the humanity of men, he drew a thin slice from his pocket, neither habituated to see death inflicted on their fellowwrapt in paper nor in bread.

men, for offences which scarcely bring an inconBoulter. I hope soon to find out this worthy venience on the prosecutor ? And what can be man, the warmth of whose heart may well atone expected from the judgment of those above them, for that of his expressions : but, lest he should be who denounce vengeance to preserve peace, and too urgent in his invitation, I will immediately take away life to show respect for property ? send one to my brother clergyman, entreating More ferocity hath issued from under English him to dine with us. We have always fish on scarlet than from under American ochre. Violent Fridays and Saturdays from the lake near us, in resentments are the natural propensities of uncase we may be favoured by any Roman Catholic tamed man: the protection of our property does visiter.

not require them. This slight displeasure is, I hope, the only one Philip Sacage. The legislator and judge feel you have met with.

Philip Savage. I must confess it grieved me to Boulter. Why then imitate them in voice and see the sheriff's officers erecting the gallows at action? Is there anything lovely or dignified in the entrance of the city : it must exasperate the such an imitation ? populace. Men in the extremity of suffering lose Philip Savage. Our judges in these days are not sooner the sense of fear than the excitability to often guilty of the like unseenliness, which was indignation : the people of Ireland have endured common fifty years ago. enough already

Boulter. Certainly they are less boisterous and Boulter. Indeed have they. It was thought blustering than under the first James and the first the excess of hard-heartedness, when men asked Charles, and have wiped away much of that rudefor bread, to give a stone; but better a stone than ness and effrontery which is chastened in other a halter.

professions by civiler company and more salutary Philip Savage. As our country-gentlemen, in awe : nevertheless, at the commencement of the this part of Ireland particularly, are rather worse disturbances which this famine brought about, than semi-barbarous, and hear nothing from their many poor wretches were condemned to death, cradles but threats and defiance, they may deem after much intemperate language from the judges, it requisite and becoming to erect this formidable who declined to present petitions on their behalf signal of regular government against the advances to the lord-lieutenant, as I told you in my letter. of insurrection.

Probably they are little pleased that his flexibility Boulter. More are made insurgents by firing of temper hath yielded to our remonstrances and on them than by feeding them; and men are more authority. Painful would be my situation as predangerous in the field than in the kitchen. sident of the council, and yours as chancellor of

Philip Savage. In critical times, such as these, the exchequer, if such people as are usually sent some coercion and some intimidation may be hither for lords-lieutenants were as refractory as necessary. We must be vigilant and resolute they are remiss. I trust it will ever be found against the ill-intentioned.

convenient to appoint men of clemency to the Boulter. My dear brother! would it not be first station, and that I shall never be forced to wiser to give other intentions to the ill-inten- exercise on them the powers entrusted to me of tioned ? Cruelty is no more the cure of crimes coercion and control. than it is the cure of sufferings : compassion, in It is well when people can believe that their the first instance, is good for both : I have known misfortunes are temporary. How can we apply it bring compunction when nothing else would such a term to pestilence and famine? I forbear to enlarge on the enormous inhumanity Philip Sarage. Surely the violence of the evil of inflicting the punishment of death for small eats away the substance of it speedily. Pestilence offences : yet I must remind you to ask yourself, and famine are, and always have been, temporary whether, in your belief, ten years ever elapsed in and brief. Ireland, or even in England, without some capital Boulter. Temporary they are, indeed : brief are sentence wrongfully pronounced. If this be the they, very brief. But why? because life is so under case, and most men think it is, does it not occur them. To the world they are extremely short : to you that such a penalty should for ever be but can we say they are short to him who bears expunged from our statute-book ? Severe as them? And of such there are thousands, tens of another may be, reparation of some kind may be thousands, in this most afflicted, most neglected made, on the detection of its injustice. But what country. The whole of a life, be it what it may reparation can reach the dead from the living ? be, is not inconsiderable to him who leaves it ; any What reparation can even reach the judge who more than the whole of a property, be it but an condemned him ? for he too must be almost as acre, is inconsiderable to him who possesses it. much a sufferer. In vain will the jurymen split Whether want and wretchedness last for a month and subdivide the responsibility : in vain will they or for half a century, if they last as long as the lament that nothing now can mitigate the verdict. sufferer, they are to him of very long duration. Release then the innocent from this long suffering, Let us try then rather to remove the evils of Ireif you will not release the guilty from a shorter. land, than to persuade those who undergo them We may

that there are none. For, if they could be thus per-cry against places and pensions, whether the suaded, we should have brutalised them first to country was flourishing or otherwise. such a degree, as would render them more dan- | lop until we cut our fingers and disable ourselves gerous than they were in the reigns of Elizabeth for harder work. Surely a man of your grace's or Charles.

discerninent would look well to it first, and reThere will never be a want of money, or a want member that, where the sun is let in, the wind too of confidence, in any well-governed state that has may let in itself. been long at peace, and without the danger of its Boulter. A want of caution is not among my interruption. But a want of the necessaries of defects; nor is an unsteady deference to the life, in peasants or artisans, when the seasons have clamours of the multitude. It is necessary to ask been favourable, is a certain sign of defect in the sometimes even well-dressed men, have not the constitution, or of criminality in the administra-judges places ? is not every office of trust a place! tion. It may not be advisable or safe to tell every and can any government be conducted without its one this truth : yet it is needful to inculcate it on functionaries? I do not follow the public cry, the minds of governors, and to repeat it until nor run before it. Pensions too, occasionally, are they find the remedy: else the people, one day or just and requisite. What man of either party other, will send those out to look for it who may will deny, that a Marlborough and a Peterborough trample down more in the search than suits good deserved such a token of esteem, from the country husbandry.

they served so gloriously? or that the payment of God be praised ! we have no such exclamation even a large annuity, to such illustrious men, is to make as that of Ecclesiastes. “Woe to thee, not in the end the best economy? These rewards O land! whose king is a child;" An evil that stimulate exertion and create merit. They likemay afflict a land under the same king, for years wise display to other nations our justice, our indefinite. Our gracious sovran, ever mindful of generosity, our power, our wealth ; and are the his humble origin, and ever grateful to the people best monuments we can erect to Victory. Do who raised him from it to the most exalted throne not be alarmed lest the people should insist on in the universe, a throne hung round with the too rigorous a defalcation. The British people, trophies of Cressy, Agincourt, Poictiers, and Blen- and still more the Irish, would resent, as a private heim, has little inclination to imitate the ruinous wrong, the tearing one leaf from the brow of a pride of Louis the Fourteenth : to expend his brave defender. On the contrary, to say nothing revenues, much less those of his people, in the of clerks and commissaries, the grant of pensions excavation of rivers, the elevation of mountains, to ambassadors and envoys, who can not act from and the transplantation of Asia, with all her their own judgment, and who only execute the gauds and vanities, under the gilded domes of orders of others, without the necessity of genius, faery palaces.

of learning, of discernment, or of courage, is superPhilip Sarage. Versailles is a monument, raised fluous to a nation in its prosperity, and insulting by the king of one country for the benefit of kings to one in its distress. They are always chosen out in all others, warning each in successive genera- of private friendship; and their stipends, while tions, not to exhaust the labour and patience of they act, are only presents made to them by their his people, by the indulgence of his profusion and patrons. To pay them afterward for having sensuality.

taken the trouble to receive these presents, is leas Boulter. Let us hope, my brother, that the needful than to send a Christmas-box to my wigpoverty this structure has entailed on the French, maker, because I had preferred him already, and may not hereafter serve for the foundation of more I had paid him handsomely for making me a wig extensive evils, and exacerbate a heartless race, at Midsummer. Should we not think him a foolish ever disposed to wanton cruelties, until they at man if he expected it, and an impudent one if be last strike down the virtuous for standing too asked it? near, and for warning them where their blows We are so fortunate as to have few pensions to should fall. In which case they will become even discharge, and little debt : nevertheless, in times worse slaves than they are, from the beating they disastrous like these, when many thousands, I must, sooner or later, undergo.

might say millions, are starving, and when perIf I could leave the country in its present state, sons once in affluence have neither bread nor and if I possessed the same advantage of daily work, it behoves us, who wish security and respecaccess to the king, as when I attended him from tability to the government, to deduct from waste | Germany, I should take the liberty of represent- and riot that which was not given originally for ing to him, that his own moderation of expendi- distinguished merit, and which may now save the ture might well be copied in the public, and that lives of generations, and scarcely take the garnish some offices and some pensions in this country off one dish in the second courses of a few. might be lopped off, without national dishonour At my table you will find only ordinary fare : or popular discontent.

and I hardly know whether I am not sinning Philip Sarage. There has always been an out- while I thank my God that it is plentiful.


« AnteriorContinuar »