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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 acknow. life, 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 folably 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 Charlestation, 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 Care 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 Georgethe 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 than genuine and 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 battle cumstance to me, he lamented of Landen. 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 rallying 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 bis 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. the 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
but very singular talents, and most advanced to the station of Lord fantastic in the use of them. In Chief Baron of the Exchequer, his dress, his air, his manners, his came at this time into parliament diction, whether in common con- under the auspices of James Duke versation, or debate, he was to- of Leinster. He immediately jointally unlike any other man of his ed the opposition then formed time. His person was well-form- against the administration of Lord ed, of a most advantageous height, Townshend. His speeches, when and, when decorated with his star, he first entered the House of Comor other emblems of chivalry, he mons, were very brilliant, very moved along like a Lord Herbert of figurative, and far more remarkCherbury, or one of those knights able for that elegant, poetic taste, who “ jousted in Aspramont or which had highly distinguished Montalban;" as lofty in mien as him when a member of the uniin phrases; courteous, or hostile, versity, than any logical illustraas the occasion required. His ora- tion or depth of argument. But as tory cannot be at all adequately he was blessed with great endowdescribed. He must have been ments, every session took away heard in the House of Lords, where somewhat from the unnecessary the stately march of his periods, splendour and redundancy of his his solemn pauses, his corresponde harangues. To make use of a entgestures, his selection of words, phrase of Cicero, in speaking of so remote from common use, yet his own improvementin eloquence, not always deficient in energy or his orations were gradually deprivpoint, sometimes excited the ade ed of all fever. Clearness of intelmiration, and always the amaze- lect, a subtle, refined, and polished ment of his auditors. The polite- wit, a gay, fertile, uncommonly ness of his manners was certainly fine imagination, very classical engaging, though ceremonious, taste, superior harmony, and eleand tinctured with that eccentri- gance of diction, peculiarly chacity, which pervaded his whole racterised this justly celebrated deportment. He had a just and man. Though without beauty, his becoming public spirit, which con- countenance was manly, engagciliated the regard of Lord Charle- ing, and expressive ; his figure mont, who acted as his second in agreeable and interesting; his dehis celebrated duel with the Mar- portment eminently graceful. quis Townshend ; when, it is al- To those who never heard him, inost superfluous to add, he be- as the fashion of this world in elohaved with his usual characteristic quence, as in all things, soon passes gallantry and punctilious antique away, it may be no easy matter to courtesy: He was most severely convey a just idea of his style of wounded, but lived many years speaking ; it differed totally from afterwards.
the models which have been presented to us by some of the great
masters of rhetoric in latter days. Walter Hussey Burgh. His eloquence was by no means
gaudy, tumid, nor approaching to Walter Hussey, who afterwards that species of oratory, which the took the name of Burghi, and wa Roman critics denominated Asiatic; but it was always decorated time, “ Haterii canorum illud, et as the occasion required : it was profluens, cum ipso extinctum often compressed, and pointed, est.” though that could not be said to He accepted the office of Prime have been its general feature. It Serjeantduringthe earlypartoflord was sustained by great ingenuity, Buckinghamshire'sadministration; great rapidity of intellect, lumin- but the experience of one session ous and piercing satire; in refine- convinced him, that his sentiments ment abundant, in simplicity ste- and those of the English and Irish rile. The classical allusions of this cabinets, on the great questions orator, for he was most truly one, relative to the independence of were so apposite, they followed Ireland, would never assimilate. each other in such bright and va- He soon grew weary of his situaried succession, and, at times, tion; when his return to the spread such an unexpected and standard of opposition was marked triumphant blaze around his sub- by all ranks of people, and espeject, that all persons, who were in cially his own profession, as a day the least tinged with literature, of splendid triumph. Numerous could never be tired of listening to were the congratulations which him. The Irish are a people of he received on this sacrifice of quick sensibility, and perfectly official emolument to the duty alive to every display of ingenuity which he owed to his country. or illustrative wit. Never did the That country he loved even to enspirit of the nation soar higher thusiasm. He moved the question than during the splendid days of of a free trade for Ireland, as the the volunteer_institution ; and, only measure that could then when Hussey Burgh, alluding to rescue this kingdom from total some coercive English laws, and decay. The resolution was conthat institution, then in its proud- cise, energetic,and successful. He est array, said in the House of supported Mr. Grattan in all the Commons, “ That such laws were motions which finally laid prossown likedragons'teeth,and sprung trate the dominion of the British up in armed men;" the applause parliament over Ireland. When which followed, and the glow of he did so, he was not unacquainted enthusiasm which he kindled in with the vindictive disposition of every mind, far exceed my powers the English cabinet of that day, of description.
towards all who dared to maintain Never did the graces more se such propositions. One night, dulously cherish, and uniformly when he sat down after a most attend, any orator more than this able, argumentative speech in faamiable and elegant man. They vour of the just rights of Ireland, embellished all that he said, all he turned to Mr. Grattan, “ I have that he did ; but the graces are now," said he, “ nor do I repent fugitive, or perishable. Of his it, sealed the door against my own admired speeches, but few, if any, preferment; and I have made the records are now to be found; and fortune of the man opposite to of his harmonious flowing elo- me,” naming a particular person quence, it may be said, as Tacitus who sat on the treasury bench. did of an eminent speaker in his