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found guilty; and, when brought up for judg- | In India, Sir James commenced a sketch of ment, Sir James, having addressed them, at consi- his own life, of which no more has been heard, derable length, on the nature of their offence, and and his History of England. He instituted a liwith great earnestness and solemnity, proceeded terary society at Bombay ; and occasional papers thus :-"I consider every pang of the criminal, of his appeared in the journals. One, a sketch not necessary to the ends of amendment and of Charles James Fox, which appeared in the example, as a crime in the judge ; and in con Bombay newspapers, after the death of the great formity with these principles, I was employed in orator, though intended as a mark of homage considering the mildest judgment which public and respect, rather offended than conciliated the duty would allow me to pronounce on you, when I Whigs. « This sketch would have been more learned, from undoubted authority, that your worthy of its subject,” the biographer remarks, thoughts of me were not of the same nature. I“ had it been more single-minded." Dr. Parr was was credibly, or rather certainly informed, that offended by allusions to the opinions of Burke, you had admitted into your minds the desperate which he imagined depreciated Fox. “ If he,” project of destroying your own lives at the bar says Parr, “ meant to exalt Mr. Burke, as I sus. where you stand, and of signalizing your suicide pect he did, his attempt was not wise. His preby the destruction of at least one of your judges. sent partiality in favour of Mr. Burke's politics, If that murderous project had been executed, I is greater than my own-his habitual admirashould have been the first British magistrate who tion of Mr. Burke's talents is not.” Sir James, ever stained with his blood the seat on which he in short, in trying to please everybody, failed sat to administer justice. But I never can die in that impossible attempt. better than in the discharge of my duty. When In 1812 he returned to England, after a period I accepted the office of a minister of justice, Iof bad health, originating in the climate. Lady knew that I must be unpopular among the ene Mackintosh had preceded him some years, and mies of justice. I knew that I ought to despise influence and his reputation procured him the reunpopularity, and slander, and even death itself. presentation of the small county of Nairn, which Thank God, I do despise them.” Sentence was was then the likest thing possible to a close passerd of a year's imprisonment. Very absurd borough. Mr. Charles Grant, the East India versions of the drama in which Sir James acted Director, had, for several Parliaments, reprewhat his inconsiderate eulogists call this “god sented the neighbouring county of Inverness, and like part,” have been made public. The young cri. exercised considerable influence in the adjoinminals are sometimes represented as natives who ing counties of Nairn and Moray. In him, his concealed knives about their persons to assassinate friend and countryman, Sir James found a usetheir judge. The present biographer regards the ful political friend ; for the opinions he was whole as a piece of mystification played off on understood to have taken out and brought the judge, The Bombay Courier told the awful back from the East, could not have operated to story of four pistols, loaded with slugs, placed in his prejudice with any moderate Tory whatever. a case made to resemble a writing-desk. “There is Lord Moira had even offered him a seat, through reason,” says the author, “ to believe, from other the influence of the Court. A pension of L.1200 sources of information, that the communication a-year from the East India Company, and the made to Sir James was a misapprehension ; that appointment of the law professorship in Hertford M‘Guire protested against the remotest idea of College, furnished the means of life. In Par. such a purpose ; and that he submitted to in- liament he was understood to occupy neutral spection his writing..desk, which, from mere sin- ground; but a circumstance attending his first gularity, he had caused to be so constructed as appearance inflicted a mortification, which, by to serve the double purpose of a writing-desk stirring his spleen, kept him aloof from the Miand pistol-case, and that his pistols, when ex nister of the day. It was on the occasion--so amined, were not charged." There are some interesting to every new member who enjoys a improbable circumstances in the version above previous celebrity“ out of the House”-of decited. If the communication was made to Sir livering his first speech. We have this account James before he began to pronounce judgment, of it:-" His first speech, without any failure of it appears to have been an inconceivable im- talent yet failed wholly of effect. It was de.. prudence to remain gratuitously exposed, even livered by him on the 14th December, 1813. The for a second, to assassination ; if it was made French empire now trembled to its centre. The to him in the course of his address, and he be-Rhine was passed, and France invaded by the lieved that the purpose of a crime so heinous Allies on the one side ; the Duke of Wellingwas really entertained, the impunity of the cri. ton was approaching the barrier of the Pyrenees minals, and the lenity of the sentence, was not on the other; and the English Guards were almagnanimity, but weakness. The probability ready arrived in Holland. Pending events so is, that M'Guire may have swaggered, and momentous, Lord Castlereagh gave notice of a threatened, and that the whole story arose from long adjournment of Parliament, and Sir James the recklessness of his language. That Sir James Mackintosh announced that he would resist the sate in godlike serenity, delivering a long ad- motion. On the 13th December the Minister dress, expecting every moment when the pistols moved the adjournment of the House to the 1st were to go off, outrages common-sense, and ex. of March following, without adding a single reaceeds all probability,
son or observation in support of his motion,
the propriety of which was, he said, too obvi Still it was necessary to do something becus to require proof. Sir James came prepared | sides projecting and promising a great deal ; and to tear and trample the flimsy web of oratory Sir James wrote those occasional articles for the which made up that Minister's Parliamentary Edinburgh Review, which his biographer gives us speeches,-his mind and memory charged with an opportunity of ascertaining with more ceran oration, in which he should pass the state of tainty than has yet been done, though the best of Europe in review. He was taken by surprise ; them are, in general, well known. The first was the maneuvre of the Minister left him no ground on Dugald Stewart's account of the boy born blind to stand upon; he had to discharge his speech and deaf, James Mitchell. It appeared in 1812, in the air; and thus a speech, redundant with and was followed in the next year by a review of eloquence and information, delivered without Rogers, which afforded the writer opportunity for spirit, under a sense of disappointment and sur some discriminating remarks on the living poets, prise, dropped cold and lifeless, as a prelection, and especially for a few fine" oleaginous touches” upon a thin and dull auditory.”
to those he was daily meeting in society. The moral This situation was the more distressing, as the defects of Lord Byron's poetry, his “ strains of Whigs did not feel it incumbent on them to sublime satire,” are traced to impatience of the come to the rescue. Sir Samuel Romilly and Mr. | imperfections of living men, to that “ worship of Abercromby alone countenanced the discomfited perfection which is the soul of all true poetry.” new Member, who long felt this failure, and from Moore is handled with even more delicacy. “The it was, probably, the more disposed to cultivate national genius of Ireland at length found a poepopularity in society. The following passage ap tical representative, whose exquisite ear and pears to us exceedingly just, and of wider appli- Alexible fancy, wantoned in all the varieties of cation than to its immediate subject :-“ The poetical luxury-from the levities to the fondfailure was confined within the walls of Parlia ness of love, from polished pleasantry to arment. His continuation of Hume's History of dent passion, and from the social joys of private England was announced. The talents of the life, to a tender and mournful patriotism, taught author, and the merits of the work were esti- by the melancholy fortunes of an illustrious coun. mated by the magnificent price he was to re try; with a range adapted to every nerve in the ceive; and the public, upon his word, placed him, composition of a people susceptible of all feelings by anticipation, as the classic historian of his age which have the colour of generosity, and more and country, by the side of Hume, Robertson, exempt, probably, than any other, from degradand Gibbon. He possessed the talent of conver ing and unpoetical vices.” sation ; and his reputation in society raised still Sir James sought golden opinions from all higher the expectations of the world. Society is sorts of writers who made a figure in society, by said to be less cultivated in London than in other this kind of good-natured flattery; but the unmigreat capitals. It attained at this period its tigated ardour of his praise was reserved for greatest eclat since the age of Anne; the genius Madame de Stael. To her he owed a considerand popularity of English living poets; the high able portion of his European celebrity. She had estimation of the art, the marvellous events and translated his defence of Peltier, and this kindextraordinary excitement of the time, the influx ness was now returned with triple compound of distinguished foreigners from the different interest. His review of Madame de Stael's countries of Europe, rendered certain circles in “ Germany" was published as a pamphlet ; such London brilliant beyond example. Lord Byron was its immediate vogue. The most memorable was now at the height of his eccentric career; of the contributions of Sir James Mackintosh to and Madame de Stael, after having paraded her. the Review, between 1812 and 1824, when he self and her grievances, during ten years, from ceased to write for it, are the above, his article on city to city, on the Continent, came to London, Dugald Stewart's“ View of the Progress of Meta for the purpose of gathering homage through physical Science,” in the Supplement to the En. every gradation, from Grub Street to Holland cyclopædia Britannica, and Sismondi's History of House. Sir James Mackintosh squandered his the French. His other writings are well known. mornings, his evenings, his faculties, on those | The most inportant are the General View of dazzling circles. He did the honours of the ge Ethical Philosophy, written for the Encyclopædia dius of Madame de Stael ; he escorted, intro Britannica,--the History of England, from the duced, and exhibited her; he was himself among Roman conquest of Britain to the nineteenth year those whose acquaintance is sought by strangers, of the Reign of Elizabeth, --and a delightful Life as one of the leading intellects of his nation ; his of Sir Thomas More, the only fault of which is, presence was thought necessary wherever dis- that it wants the easy undress freedom of biotinguished talents and the best company' were graphy, and, indeed, maintains throughout the combined for social enjoyment, or for ostentation. stately pace of history. The latter works were But what were those frivolous successes of so published in the Cabinet Cyclopædia. The Ge. ciety--those perishable vanities of an hour neral View of Ethical Philosophy is the work compared with the sacrifice of so large a portion most characteristic of the mind of the author. of the small compass of human life, which might | It is a useful contribution to literature, and is of have been devoted, in the solitude of his cabinet, the best description of Encyclopædia writing in to the production of lasting monuments to his Britain ; where, with rare exceptions, authors, reputation?"
instead of broaching original theories, and pro
mulgating novel opinions, have subdued them. state, but against the national honour and public selves into historians of other men's productions, affections of a people. After twenty-five years and guarded commentators on their doctrines. of the fiercest warfare, in which every great On no topic, save those quite abstracted from the capital of the European Continent had been immediate business and interests of society, has spared, he had almost said respected, by enemies, any man of powerful intellect and original views it was reserved for England to violate all that been permitted to write in the British Ency- decent courtesy towards seats of national dignity, clopaedias. The French Eneyclopædias were which, in the midst of enmity, manifests the rethe project of philosophers desirous to unite spect of nations for each other, by an expedi. their forces for the promotion of certain objects, tion principally directed against palaces of go—those of Britain, speculations of traffic, in vernment, halls of legislation, tribunals of justended to be safe and saleable, with as great a tice, repositories of the muniments of property, degree of excellence as might be combined with and of the records of history ; objects, among those preliminary conditions. The first intellects civilized nations, exempted from the ravages of of the age were thus excluded from their pages. war, and severed as far as possible even from its The morals and jurisprudence of Bentham, and accidental operation,-because they contribute the philosophy of Godwin, would have been in- nothing to the means of hostility, but are conseadmissible, expounded by themselves; the science crated to purposes of peace, and minister to the of Priestley would probably have been considered common and perpetual interest of all human su. as tainted by what Sir James Mackintosh calls the ciety.” But we leave this speech to the study of “ unhappy impression which Priestley has made." Major Pringle and his advocates. It made Sir These large works are, in fact, respectable com James exceedingly popular with the Americans; pilations, but they have never been the vehicles for men of all shades of opinion in the United of original opinion or bold speculation any States sympathized, in warm indignation, at the region of morals, politics, or philosophy. Nor is wanton outrage and premeditated insult to the Sir James Mackintosh any exception to the fixed national feelings and honour which he eloquently and necessary principle on which they must be stigmatized. conducted.
If Dr. Parr was the wholesale epitaph-monger, The greatest distinction in Parliament which Sir James Mackintosh was not less the obituarySir James Mackintosh attained, in his first years orator of the last generation. Some of his fune. of public service, was being the fellow-labourer ral orations were delivered in Parliament, as of Sir Samuel Romilly, in the mitigation of the that on Grattan-others through the press. To sanguinary horrors of the penal law, and parti- him the memories of Fox, Canning, and his early cularly the unchristian and inhuman barbarities friend, Hall, are indebted for eulogies. A species which attended executions for treason. His early of composition and oratory, unavoidably pervad. studies gave him the desire and power of speak-ed by pedantry and exaggeration, if not tainted ing on all questions relating to international law; with falsehood, fattery, and execrable taste, which were of frequent occurrence about the con. could not be rendered tolerable even by the taclusion of the war, and during the first move lents of Mackintosh. His most elaborate effort, ments of the Holy Alliance. His views of fo the character of Canning, published in the reign policy were gradually becoming more li. “Keepsake,” is his happiest attempt in a difficult beral; and after he came into Parliament for branch of literature, already languishing and soon the Duke of Devonshire's borough of Knares to be proscribed. History and Time remain to borough, if not a violent he was a decided Whig, | pronounce their impartial fiat on character. Une and often appeared on the liberal side of popular til that is done, public men, in modern days, must questions. He opposed the Foreign Enlistment be content to let their deeds speak for them. Bill, which is now about expiring ; and against During the Canning administration, the Godethe Alien Act he made a yearly protest. Against rich abortion, and the vigorous Catholic-Emanci. large standing armies Sir James spoke in the pation period of Wellington and Peel, Sir James best spirit of the ancient Whigs; he was the Mackintosh lent ministers the general support enemy of the slave-trade, and the advocate of given by all the moderate Whigs. Though his oni. Catholic emancipation. The transfer of Genoa, nions on the popular, but often inconclusive topies the blockade of the ports of Norway, and the state we have specified, were liberal, the early Secret ry of Poland, furnished occasions for eloquent and of “ The London Corresponding Society of the popular declamation; and his strenuous efforts to Friends of the People” had as completely forgotameliorate the criminal law relating to Bank for. ten the necessities of a sweeping reform in the geries, after the death of Sir Samuel Romilly, to House of Commons, as others of his associates of whom he and Mr. Brougham succeeded as reformers that period. To effect a thorough and effectual of this branch of our faulty institutions, may be set reform in the representation of the people was down as positive and tangible benefits conferred to begin at the beginning :—to aim at the root of on humanity. None of his speeches in Parliament the Upas-tree of corruption was demanded;--they gained more universal approbation than that thought it safer to nibble at a few of the rotten which he delivered on the conduct of the British branches, or the excrescences on its trunk. But army at Washington, which he denounced with Earl Grey came into office ; and Sir James, now just reprobation :-“ It was,” he said, “ an at for a dozen years, a Whig nominee in Parliament, tack not against the strength or the resources of a was appointed Commissioner for the Affairs of In
dia ; and when the time came, supported the Re- | riage airing,) and his state became worse. His form Bill. “Sir James Mackintosh,” says his debility increased, with pains in the head and biographer, now returned, or was borne back, limbs. Those pains gave way to brain fevernd to the principles of the Vindicie Gallicæ of his delirium. His condition became hopeless. He youth, after forty years' renunciation of them. fell into a state of insensibility, which continued It was understood that he relapsed into his early to his death, on the 30th of May.” Sir James creed, not from experience, conviction, the force Mackintosh was, at his death, in his sixty-sixth of popular opinion, or the spirit of the time, but year. He was buried at Hampstead. from being bound in the wake of the administra. On being elected member for Nairnshire, Sir tion. This is not improbable. It is not in the James Mackintosh, in full-blown reputation, videcline of life that men enlarge their views of sited Scotland. He again returned in 1822, when popular privilege, and catch the fearless spirit of he was chosen Lord Rector of Glasgow Univer. democracy; and opinions once entertained and sity.—This honorary office he filled in the sucrenounced, are ever regarded with something ceeding year. like disgust.”—This is humiliating. Sir James The notices that have appeared of the life of Sir Mackintosh, after forty years, affected to acqui. James have hitherto been almost unqualified paesce in the opinions he had renounced and stig-negyric, such as he often dealt out unsparingly matized, because the appointment of Commis- himself, to the living and the successful. The presioner for the Affairs of India had bound him in sent memoir, which avoids the besetting sin of the wake of an administration,” which could not works of this nature, may, on some points, be exist for a day without embracing those danger- deemed harsh or acrimonious. It seems to us ous opinions and untried theories, which, for a as if a few crude softening effects had been selfish cause, now found in him and others strenu thrown in, under this impression, for they do not ous advocates ! But whatever were the actuating harmonize well with the tone of the production. motives, the doctrines advanced were sound, and The writer appears to have begun his task with the pleading forcible. To the boroughmongers, the idea, that his subject was over-estimated as whom Sir James, averse to uncourtly phrase, a lawyer, an orator, and a man of general learnuniformly termed “the great proprietors,” he ing and accomplishment; and to have written addressed this memorable advice,-“ Above all under the conviction, that truth is the great end other considerations, I should dare to advise of all biography. He has analyzed the different these great proprietors to cast from them those works of Sir James, examined his conduct at the reasonings which would involve property in the great epochs of his life, and come to the conclu. approaching downfal of political abuse. If they sion that, though “he assuredly deserved his assent to the doctrine, that political privilege is high reputation, the world or the public has property, they must be prepared for the inevi- rarely been so liberal;” that “ he was estimated table consequence, that it is no more unlawful to by what he promised, rather than by what he violate property than to resume a delegated achieved. Constitutionally indolent, and contrust. The suppression of the dependent boroughs demned to pass, under a distant enervating sun, is at hand. It will be the truest wisdom seven years of that precious stage of life and inof the great proprietors, the natural guardians tellect, which combines vigorous manhood with of the principle of property, to maintain, to in mature experience, he has left only sketches culcate, to enforce, the essential distinction be and fragments to sustain the reputation of a firsttween it and political trust, if they be desirous rate publicist, philosopher, critic, and historian.” not to arm the spoilers whom they dread with As a public character, in a trying period for pubarguments which they can never consistently lic virtue, we may at least affirm, that his opianswer.” In the winter of 1831-2, Sir James nions never, at any one time, stood in the way of Mackintosh took almost no part in the business his advancement. Nor is it necessary that a philo. before Parliament. His time was divided be- sopher or a literary character should not be pertween his official duties and the composition of mitted to retain his political neutrality inviolate ; his great work, and his health was delicate. but the man who, at one period a violent refor“ The proximate cause of his last illness was mer, could so suddenly be converted into an accidental. · About the middle of March, 1832, alarmist, and again, much later, return to the he experienced at dinner a sudden difficulty of early faith he had openly deserted, and bitterly deglutition and respiration.” A morsel of chicken inveighed against, every change being to the which he was eating was supposed to remain in thriving side, does not evince a very stoical or cyhis throat. The proper remedies were tardily ap- nical temper, nor an impracticable virtue. Many a plied, and the obstruction removed, but his health public man has fallen into similar errors. The suffered, as the surgeon first called in seems to world teems with renegade Whigs; as, if Whig have mistaken the case, if, as is stated, he said rule be protracted for seven years, or for less time, no such obstruction existed as that afterwards it will inevitably do with turn-coat Tories; but removed by proper treatment. He rallied after considerable literary talent, some power as an ora, this : but never recovered farther than the dan- tor, a mild and urbane temper, and great social gerous stage, when the feeling of returning health good nature, does not always, as in the case of Sir and strength prompts to undue exertion. “ Pre- | James Mackintosh, raise them, whether a Scarlett suming too much upon returning health, he, in or a Lyndhurst, into “first-born of earth,” “demione instance, remained out too long, (on a car gods of Fame." In this consisted his peculiar feli
VOL, LNO. IY.
city; thewo pronounced against the man, of whom , expression. His voice was monotonous and unall men speak well, did not reach him living. tunable at all times; and when he became enerHis unweighed political reputation lasted out his getic, or rather unguarded, a provincial enday. No one will deny that he was an able and nunciation impaired the correctness and vul. an amiable man; not so venal as men in general garized the dignity of his vocabulary and style. are found—not sordid as the world goes; but
.He wanted the oratorical temyet of easy nature, of very easy public virtue ; perament. He was vehement without passion, and without any one of those lofty and stern humane without pathos ; he took comprehensive qualities which should form the character of him and noble views, without imagination or fancy. who is to be held up as a model and pattern to For a vigorous dialectican, he was too diffuse. young men entering on public life : not one, the He did not employ either the artifices of rhetocontemplation of whose entire course warrants ric, or the forms of logic; the syllogism of Canthe injunction, “ Go ye and do so likewise.” ning, or the dilemma like Brougham. Conversa
Our author concludes with an estimate of Sir tion was a talent in the last century. It has beJames Mackintosh as an historian, an orator, and come an art.......... Few arts are more difficult, a talker. The notice, it is obvious, has been and Sir James Mackintosh had the reputation of drawn out to the length it occupies, more by the a master in it. He was rich and various, withconsideration of the high place assigned to its out being ambitious or prolix. He had known subject, as a leading intelligence and ornament of many eminent or remarkable persons in public his age and nation, than from the writer's personal life, literary and political, of whom he related conviction of the validity of those claims. As a anecdotes and traits of character, with facility politician, we have already cited his opinion of and precision.” the leading points in the career of Sir James. We are compelled to close abruptly, and before “ As an historian,” it is said, “ he thought too approaching the history. The mystery connect. much of discoursing and too little of narrating. ed with it is, Why a writer so frequently opposed Instead of relating events and circumstances, he in opinion to Sir James Mackintosh, and so optakes them up as subjects of disquisition. He is posite in feeling and predilection, should have luminous and copious, but diffuse, and only not been chosen to conclude his great labour? and irrelevant....... He was not formed by nature, why, above all, one should have assumed the task or by discipline, in person or in faculty, for an who so little sympathises in his admiration of the accomplished orator. His person and gestures Hero of the Revolution, and its chiefs, as to bewere robust and graceless, but without awkward tray partiality as strong on the one hand as Sir ness or embarrassment. His countenance was James does on the other. strongly marked, without flexibility or force of
ON THE PECULIAR BURDENS AFFECTING LAND.
One of the arguments the most frequently burdens, are the poor-rates and county-rates, urged in defending the restrictions upon the im which amounted in England and Wales, in the portation of corn, is, that land is taxed in a pe year 1832, to L.8,622,920. If we assume the culiarly severe manner, and that therefore, the proportions in which the tax was levied, to have landholders are entitled, as a matter of right, been the same as it was in the year ending 25th to have such a duty imposed on corn imported March, 1826, then of 1000 parts, there wereas will compensate them for these peculiar bur
Paid from the land,
L.688 dens. The obvious answer to this argument is,
261 that if such peculiar burdens exist, they ought
From mills, factories, &c.
37 to be removed ; and not, that because the corn
From manorial profits,
14 of this country is taxed, that imported from other countries should be equally taxed. In the
1000 present state of Europe, it is of the utmost im Now, it will be remarked, that the assertion so portance to this country that food should be often made, that nearly the whole of the poorprocured for our manufacturers as cheaply as rates and county-rates falls on the land is incorpossible; for it is by having cheap food alone, rect, for a considerable proportion of them is that they can compete for any number of years, paid by the proprietors of dwelling-houses and with the increasing activity and industry of factories. But in reality, the burden of the poortheir rivals on the Continent. It is therefore of rates is much less than it appears. Of the much consequence to ascertain whether there L.7,036,969 expended in 1832 in England and are any peculiar burdens on the land, which Wales for the relief of the poor, it is hardly an tend to enhance the price of food; for if there exaggeration to say that one-half of that sum is are, their speedy removal is of paramount im- | in reality the wages of labour. This arises from portance to the country.
the pernicious manner in which the poor-laws POOR-RATES AND COUNTY_RATES.
are administered throughout a great part of EngThe first, and most important of these alleged | land. In 1795, the price of grain rose more than