« 前へ次へ »
Lords, or that of England, (he was agreeable wit andaccomplishments a member of both), or speaking for some time'enthralled the affecthe language of truth and justice tions of the young French moin the closet of his sovereign. narch. The Duc de Nivernois,
No man ever understood his (who did not assume the title of part in society better than he did ; Nevers, although his father died in he was conscious of his rank, and 1768) was appointed ambassador upheld it to the utmost; but, let to Róme in 1746, and staid there it be added, that he was remark. · several years. The embassy to able for the dignified, attractive Rome was, during the reigns of politeness, or, what the French Louis XIV.and XV.considered as call, nobleness of his manners. So one of the first, if not the highest, admirable was he in this respect, in diplomatic rank. He acquitted that, when he entertained some himself entirely to the satisfaction Lord Lieutenants, the general de- of his own court: the people at claration, on leaving the room, Rome looked on him as a Roman, was, that from the peculiar grace whilst his manners, his learning, of his behaviour he appeared to and conversation, rendered him be more the Viceroy than they did,' peculiarly acceptable to LamberHe was some years older than tini,(Benedict the Fourteenth). It Lord Charlemont, and took a lead is almost needless to say, that he in politics when that nobleman captivated LordCharlemont,whose was abroad, and for some time af- taste and studies, and sauvity of ter his return to Ireland; but disposition, were, in a great meawhen the House of Lords became sure, similar to his own. Although more the scene of action, they, he did not succeed in the object with the late lord Moira, gene- of his mission at Berlin, (for Frerally co-operated, and, in truth, derick had taken his measures prethree noblemen so independent, viously to the Duke's arrival) he this country has seldom seen. was not the less honoured and dis
tinguished by that monarch and his
brother, Prince Henry. They DUC DE NIVERNOIS. never spoke of him but with ap
plause. When ambassador in LonOf this nobleman, so much ad- don, D'Eon justly says, that howmired by Lord Chesterfield, so ever discordant the opinions of the unuch regarded by Lord Charle. people were as to the peace, there inont, and so esteemed at Rome, was no difference whatever as to , at Berlin, at London, and in Paris, the pacificator; for ali ranks seem
I shall endeavour to give some ac- ed to vie with each other in their .count. He was a Mancini, an il-' admiration of, and respect for him. lustrious Roman name, and per- He went every where, and was fectly familiar to all who are con- liked every where. He was at versant in the history of Louis the Bath; at Newmarket; was elected Fourteenth. His grandfather was Fellow of the Royal Society; and Duc de Nevers, brother to that honoured with the degree of Docrenowned beauty, Madamede Ma- tor of Laws by the university of zarin, and Maria Mancini, whose Oxford.
He was a little man, with an France; and, in conjunction with agreeable, open, and engaging some most respectable noblemen, countenance, but so extremely took a generous, but decided part thin, that some of his friends at against the system of Chancellor Paris always called him the poli- Maupeou. Whilst engaged in this tical Sylph. When he first land. opposition, a circumstance oced, with his suite, at Dover, two curred, which I shall take leave to or three old sailors were walking mention, as it is in some measure along the beach. Observing the illustrative of his urbanity and po. bustle, “ Hey, what's this ?" said lished wit. Louis XV held a bed
a one,- -" Oh! the French Ambas- of justice, as it was called, and eisador! He has just come out of ther then, or in one of the audience the boat." “ Just Heaven !” ex- rooms at Versailles, forbad the claimed another, “ to what have members of the parliament of Pawe reduced the French during ris to trouble him with any further this war! Only conceive. When remonstrances ; “ for," added he, I was prisoner in France, two or with a most emphatic tone, “ I three years ago, that emaciated shall never change." His favourambassador, whom you see like a ite, the beautiful, unfortunate Mawithered apple-John, yonder, was dame de Barry, and the Duke of then by far one of the fattest men Nivernois, were present at the who walked the streets in Paris. scene. Some days after, she met He absolutely waddled.” When the Duke, and addressing him with this was told to the Duke, he was great gaiety, “ Well, Monsieur de delighted, and used often to relate Nivernois," said she, “ you may it at his own table, as a most hap- surely now give up your opposipy instance of national humour. tion; for you yourself heard the
In consequence of repeated so- king say, that he would never licitations to be recalled, (for his change." “ Certainly, Madam," health, naturally delicate, was al. he replied, “I did hear him; and
, most destroyed by the air of Lon- indeed no wonder, for he was lookdon), he returned, after an eight ing at you.” months' residence in England, to He was, when far advanced in Paris. He continued in that me- life, (for he was then some years tropolis, or its environs, for more beyond seventy) at length called than thirty years afterwards, cul- to the councils of his sovereign. . tivating letters, and all the refined M. de Malsherbes, the Count de pleasures of society, but not living, la Luzerne, and one or two more, as many men of letters do, in a were his assistants. It was then cold, fastidious indifference to the too late. The time of the court welfare of his country. On the had been long wasted in the most contrary, though much esteemed wretched intrigues; and the toiand liked by Louis XV, and one lette of that most fascinating of all of the principal ornaments of his women, Madame de Polignac, was, court, he opposed the inclinations however originally adverse to her of that monarch, when he consi. inclinations, alternately become, dered them as militating against with that of her royal friend, Marie
Antoinette, the scene of frivolous, ridiculous appointments, in which LORD POWERSCOURT. vanity, levity personal whim or caprice, were alone consulted, and Of the nobleman whom I have the dread exigence of the moment occasion now to mention, the seneither not understood, or feebly timents of all, who had the happi. administered to. The waters were ness of being known to him, were out, they had overspread the land; uniform and unvaried. His geneand it required more talents than rosity and magnificence, his enfell to the share of the Duke de gaging, unaffected conversation, Nivernois, and his coadjutors, had the lively energies of his mind, were they been all even in the prime of almost generally felt and acknowlife, to give the repose of a mo- ledged. That this colouring is not ment to the shattered political over-charged, many who are still vessel of France. The duke lived living, and knew him well, can bear long enough to see his well-inten. ample testimony. He was distioned sovereign, the unhappy An- tinguished among his associates, toinette, whose beauty and ten- and those who, having long surderness of heart were once the sub- vived him, idolized his memory, by ject of every eulogy, and the an- the appellation of the French Lord gelic Princess Elizabeth, dragged, Powerscourt; an epithet, not of in the midst of Paris, to the scaf- frivolity, but acquired merely by fold, by monsters in a human form. his long residence in France, where Accustomed as this world has ever his agreeableness, his vivacity, and been to spectacles of sorrow, such courteous, easy manners, rendered a downfall of all earthly grandeur, him universally liked; and with such a fell vicissitude, it perhaps some of the principal personages never before witnessed.
of the court of Louis the Fifteenth But what is singular in the his- he was a particular favourite. tory of Monsieur de Nivernois's In London he was equally relife, is, that although remaining in lished; and whether there or in Paris, he survived even the multi- Dublin, conversing with men of plied atrocities and murders of sense, and the world, entertaining Robespierre. How he escaped, it a brilliant circle of both sexes at is not very easy to conceive, as he his delightful seat of Powerscourt, had every requisite for the guillo- or again returning to the society tine, which that dæmon so often of Paris, La Clairon, Comte D'Arlooked for in the victims of his genson, and others, he captivated tyranny-highrank,venerable age, all ranks of people. He seemed goodness of mind, love of letters, to exist only to please, and render and love of his country. Yet, with those about him contented, and all these qualifications for being satisfied with themselves. Having murdered in such a time, he was been a votary of fashion for sevenot; but lived to publish several ral years, and given rise to many of his works, and died very peace- of its fantasies, and agreeable fol. ably in 1798, at the advanced age lies, he was not overpowered by of eighty-two!
the habits of self-indulgence. He
listened reluctantly, and supinely, overtook him; he resigned his seat at first, but still he listened, to the
in the House of Commons, and voice of his country, which told after struggling with uninterrupted him, that the duties of public life ill health for some time, he died should take their turn also, and universally beloved in the prime of had a predominant claim on those life, having scarcely passed his who, like him, to high birth and thirty-fourth year. Lord Charle,
station, added, what was of far mont lived with him, as with the more consequence to the commu- dearest brother of his heart, and to nity, the powers of a strong and the close of his life spoke of, and cultivated mind. Accordingly he, lamented him, with the truest for some time, attended the House sensibility. of Lords. But he soon discovered that, although he wished to engage in business, the Upper House of EARL OF CARHAMPTON. the Irish Parliament was, of all places on earth the most unpropi- Simon Luttrell, Earl of Cara tious to any such laudable pursuit. hampton, was descended from a An ungenerous and unwise policy long line of progenitors, who, for had withered almost all the func- several centuries were seated at tions of that assembly, and the ill. Luttrelstown, in the county of omened statute of George the First, Dublin, where, as well as in other hung on it like an incubus. He counties of Ireland, they had very was much mortified at finding him- large possessions. The immediate self in the company of such au- ancestors of Lord Carhampton, or gust but imbecile, inefficient per- some of them at least, followed the sonages, who moved about, more fortunes of James the Second. like the shadows of legislators, His uncle held a high rank in that thangenuineand sapient guardians prince's army, and was by him of the realm, or counsellors to appointed a privy counsellor of Majesty. He soon grew weary Ireland on the same day with the of them. To an intimate friend celebrated Anthony, Count Haof his, who often repeated the cir- milton. He was killed at the battļe cumstance to me, he lamented of Landep. Lord Carhampton was that he was not born a commoner; bred up in political principles diand some time after, he proved that rectly opposite to those of his anhe was not affectedly querulous cestors; and received the first part or insincere in the regret which he of his education at Eton, where he expressed, for he procured a seat formed early habits of intimacy in the English House of Commons. with Lord Camden, whose age Whilst he sat there, he spoke not corresponded exactly with his own. unfrequently; his speaking was He was a distinguished member of much approved of, and he began the House of Lords in Ireland for to relish the new scene of life, in many years, though by no means to which, for the best purposes, he young when he took his seat in had now entered. But procrasti- that assembly. Whilst he was nation renders our best efforts in- there, he spoke with his accuseffectual; a severe malady soon tomed wit and humour, great per
spicuity, adroitness, knowledge of excellent scholar ; but as the sub-' mankind, quickness in perceiving, jects which engaged his attention and ral:ying the foibles of his ad. in general were either political, or versaries, stimulating, if it suited such as an agreeable man of the his purpose, a warm temper to world would most dwell on in warmth still greater, with a gene- mixed companies, his literary acral vigilance and command of his quirements were only, or more peown. To oratory he had no claim. culiarly, known to those who lived He was well versed in the pro- in greater intimacy with him. ceedings of parliament, as, for the To enter into an idle and unbest part of his life, he had sat in skilful panegyric of this nobleman, the English House of Commons, is not the part of these memoirs ; where, though he did not press but they can state with propriety, forward as a constant debater, he that he was friendly and good-nawas a most keen and accurate tured ; and it is only doing bare observer of all that passed. As a justice to his memory to add, that companion, a more agreeable man the accounts which political writcould scarcely be found, He was ers of the day, especially at the the delight of those whose society period of the Middlesex election, he frequented, whilst he resided in published with regard to him, are Dublin, as he did almost constantly almost without exception to be retowards the close of his life. His garded as the mere fabrications of conversation (for I had long the party. honour and happines of partaking of it) was charming; full of sound sense, perfect acquaintance with EARL OF BELLAMONT. tbe histories of the most distinguished persons of his own age, Charles Coote, Earl of Bellaand that which preceded it; with- mont, was, I believe, descended out the least garrulity pursuing from that Sir Charles Coote, who various narratives, and enlivening acted no inconsiderable part as a all with the most graceful original military personage, in Ireland, humour. In many respects it re. during that agitated period, which sembled that species of conversa- succeeded the calamitous æra of tion, which the French, at a pe- 16+1. No portion of his warlike riod when society was best under. spirit was lost in his descendant, stood, distinguished above all other who, at an early period of his life, colloquial excellence of that day, distinguished himself against the bythe appropriate phraseofl’Esprit Oak boys, and other insurgents ; de Mortemart. Gay, simple, very for which services it was thought peculiar,yet perfectlynatural,easy, proper to reward him with a red and companionable; unambitious ribband; and he was accordingly of all ornament, but embellished invested with the ensigns of the by that unstudied and becoming order of the Bath by the Duke of air, which a just taste, improved Northumberland, then Lord Lieuby long familiarity with persons of tenant, at the castle of Dublin. the best manners, can alone be. He was a nobleman who possessed stow, Lord Carhampton was an much quickness of parts, of real