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He loved fame, he enjoyed the where we fondly imagine our own blaze of his own reputation, and wisdom to be the most authentithe most unclouded moments of cated. His honest desire not to his life were not those when his feed contention, but bring it to as exertions at the bar, or in the speedy a termination as could reaHouse of Commons, failed to re- sonably be wished, deserves great ceive their accustomed and ample praise. tribute of admiration : that, in- “ He did not,” says Mr. Flood, deed, but rarely happened; he felt alluding to him in one of his it at particular moments, during speeches, “ live to be ennobled, his connection with the Bucking, but he was ennobled by nature.” hamshire administration; nor did I value the just prerogatives of anthe general applause which he re- cient nobility, but to the tears and ceived counterbalance his tempo- regrets of a nation, bending over rary chagrin. A similar tempe- the urn of public and private exrament is, I think, recorded of cellence, as Ireland did over his, Racine ; but he had not Racine's what has heraldry to add, or, at jealousy. On the contrary, the such moments, what can it bebest intellectual displays of his con- stow? temporaries seemed always to be the most agreeable to him; and I can well attest, that he hailed the
HENRY FLOOD: dawn of any young man's rising reputation with the tribute of kin
Mr. Henry Flood was by far one dred genius.
of the ablest men that ever sat in He died at a time of life when the Irish parliament. As he will his faculties, always prompt and appear frequently in the course of discriminating, approximated, as these memoirs, I shall not enter it should seem, to their fullest per- here into his character as entirely fection. On the bench, where he as I otherwise should. Hecame into sat more than one year, he had the House of Commons, and spoke sometimes lost sight of that wise during the administration of the precept, which Lord Bacon lays Earl of Halifax. Hamilton's sucdown for the conduct of a judge cess, as a speaker, drew him in"towards an advocate at the bar stantly forward, and his first par. “ You should not affect the opi- liamentary essay was brilliant and nion of poignancy and expedition imposing: Hutchinson, who was by an impatient and catching hear at that time with the court, reing of the counsellors at the bar." plied to him with many compliHe seemed to be sensible of his ments; and, as has been already deviation from this; to be con- observed, he was almost general. vinced that security in our own ly applauded, except by Primate opinions, like too great security in Stone. He was a consummate any thing, “is mortals chiefest member of parliament. Active, enemy;" and that, in our daily ardent, and persevering, his inconverse with the world, we meet dustry was without limits. In adwith others who are far wiser than vancing, and, according to the par. ourselves, even on those points liamentary phrase, driving a question, he was unrivalled ; as, for house was completely divided into instance, his dissertations, for such two distinct contending powers, led they were, on the law of Poynings, on by two mighty leaders; and his and similar topics. He was in declaration, at the onset, that he himself an opposition, and pos- belonged to no.party, united all sessed the talent (in political war- parties againt him. His speech fare a most formidable one) of on the India bill was, as he assured tormenting a minister, and every a gentleman from whom I had it, day adding to his disquietude. in some measure accidental. The When attacked, he was always debate had been prolonged to a most successful ; and to form an very late hour, when he got up accurate idea of his excllence, it with the intention merely of saywas necessary to be present when ing, that he would defer giving his he was engaged in such contests, detailed opinion on the bill (to for his introductory or formal which he was adverse) till a more speeches were often heavy and favourable opportunity. The molaboured yet still replete with justment that he arose, the politeness argument; and through the whole of the Speaker in requesting orwere diffused a certain pathos, an der, the eagerness of the oppoapparent public ear, with which a nents of the bill, who knew that popular assembly is almost always Flood. was with them, seconding in unison. His taste was not the most the efforts of the Speaker, the correct, and his studied manner civility always paid to any new was slow, harsh, and austere ; the member, and his particular celevery reverse of Hamilton, whose brity as an orator, brought back trophies first pointed the way to the crowd from the bar, from above Flood's genius, and whom he stairs at Bellamy's, and, in short, avowedly attempted to emulate. from the lobby, and every part adBut in skirmishing, in returning joining the house.
There was with rapidity to the charge, though much civility in this, mingled at first shaken, and nearly discom- with no slight curiosity; and altofited, his quickness, his address, gether it was sufficient to discomhis powers of retort, and of insi- pose most men. All the members nuation, were never exceeded in resumed their places, and a geneparliament. However, it was from ral silence took place. Such a flatthe whole of the campaign that tering attention, he thought,should his abilities were to be duly ap- be repaid by more than one or two preciated. Heentered, as has been sentences. He went on, trusting observed by his illustrious oppo- to his usual powers as a speaker, nent (Mr.Grattan), ratherlateinto when, after some diffuse and gethe British House of Commons, neral reasonings on the subject, and was never fairly tried there. which proved that he was not His first exhibition was unsuccess- much acquainted with it, he sat ful, and it seems to have indispo- down amid the exultation of his sed him, for a considerable time at adversaries, and the complete disleast, to any subsequent parlia- comfiture, not of his friends, for mentary effort. Besides, at the mo- he could be scarcely said to have ment that he became a member that one in the house, but of those,
whose minds breathed nothing but tenance, however changed in our parliamentary, indeed almost per days, was of correspondingbeauty. sonal warfare, and expected much On the whole, he made a conspifrom his assistance. Altogether cuous figure in the annals of his the disappointment was universal. country, and he is entitled to the He spoke, and very fully, some respect of every public-spirited years afterwards, on two or three man in it, for, unquestionably he occasions. On the French treaty, was the senator who, by his exerand on the parliamentary reform. tions, and repeated discussion of On the last mentioned subject his questions, seldom, if ever, approgress was correspondent to that proached before, first taught Irewhich has been already stated of land that it had a parliament. him. He introduced it with a Mr. Flood died in December, 1791. heavy solemnity, and great, but laborious knowledge. But his reply, especially to Mr. (now Lord)
MR. DALY. Grenville was, as I have been assured, incomparable, and Mr. Mr. Daly was born in 1747, Burke particularly applauded it. educated at Christ Church, Ox
Till his acceptance of office, in ford, and came into parliament, 1775, he was the uniform friend as the representative of the county and supporter of Lord Charlemont, of Galway, in 1768. He was unwho itideed scarcely took a poli- commonly gifted; for in him were tical step without him. Their inti. united much beauty and dignity macy then ceased. It revived again of person, great private worth, in some measure, when Flood re- great spirit, extensive erudition, vived his opposition; and was again and penetrating genius. Seldom eclipsed, not extinguished, by their was any man more regarded in the adoption of different sentiments, House of Commons than he was, at the time of what was called the not only whilst he continued with simple repeal, in the autumn of opposition, but after he had joined 1782. Lord Charlemont was highly government, and indeed till the indignantat Flood's journey to Bel- time of his death. He was rather fast, where he excited a violent fer. an eminent speaker and orator, ment, and that even among Lord than a debater. In the general Charlemont's particular friends.- business of the house he did not That cloud, however, passed away, at all engage; but when he was and a cordial intercourse of letters forced to reply, he spoke, though took place during the regency. To very shortly, with a promptitude such vicissitudes are political lives and animation that were almost subject. Lord Charlemont was al. peculiar to him. His oratory was ways amiable, and Flood possess- rapid, unaffected, displaying great ed, or certainly could display, most energy of intellect, much fortitude engaging manners. He was ex- of mind, dignified, not austere, notremely pleasing in private inter- thing morose, but nothing ludicourse; well-bred, open, and hos- crous, or jesting ; still, however, pitable. His figure was tall, erect, solving grave debate with powers graceful ; and in youth, his coun- of ridicule, that almost put cor.
ruption ruption out of countenance, and acquired an authority with minispouring forth itself in sentences so ters, which checked their excesses constructed as to style, and invi- also; and as he did not run headgorated as to sentiment, that his long with either, he seemed to hearers were, in truth, not only command both. He had pride, convinced, but borne down by but it was a pride that led him to him. It is to be lamented that excel, and was not obtrusive, or some of his speeches have not been revolting. He was not only good preserved. That on the embargo, humoured, but extremely playful. in December 1777, when he op- In private society he was above posed government, was so com- the practice of satire ; and if ever pletely excellent in every part, as he resorted to it, it was only to would alone justify the fullest pa- check the satirist, and with delinegyric on his oratory. It was the cacy make him feel, that he himmost perfect model of parliamentself was also vulnerable. Good ary speaking, that, in my opinion, manners in him seemed an emanacould be exhibited. It is said that tion of good nature; and, as an in council he was superior. On illustrious friend of his, who lived some great questions he stood al- in great intimacy with him, has most alone, and he was right.- more than once remarked to me, The measures that he advised were to know him, and not to love him bold and rapid. At a meeting of was impossible. He was a classithe friends of government in 1783, cal scholar, and not only collected when Mr. Flood had announced the best editions of the great auhis intention to the House of Com- thors of antiquity, but read books mons of bringing forward the re- with the ardor of a real lover of form bill which had been, in fact, literature. His library was unprepared by the Convention, Mr. commonly valuable, and was sold, Daly infused his own spirit into I believe, at a very high price. It the minds of several who were may not perhaps be thought suwavering, and prepared the reso perfluous to state in this place, lution which Mr. Conolly moved that, in a conversation which he in the House of Commons. If he once had with the author of these leaned to any party in the state, it memoirs, he said, that as to Engwas to a qualified aristocracy, ac- lish prose-writers, the style of Drycompanied with the utmost repug. den, and that of Andrew Stuart, nance to jobbing. In fact, he was in his letters to Lord Mansfield, neither the tool, nor the idol of especially the concluding part of any party. He served the crown them, were, in his opinion, the with such a port and dignity, that best models which any young man at particular moments government could attend to, who wished 10 seemed to be borne along by him. speak in the House of Commons. As he loved liberty, he uttered the
made an observation to most poignant sentiments against me, which showed such a general all public excesses, and, in truth, knowledge of the Irish House of hé seemed to have a horror of all Commons at that time, that I never public tumult. The people were shall forget it. On some question ultimately served thereby, for he (no matter what), the court was
either left in a minority, or obliged BISHOP OF DERRY. to withdraw it. Some member attempted to pursue this apparent Frederick, earl of Bristol, and triumph by a more decisive reso- bishop of Derry, was the son of Lord lution. « How little is he ac- Hervey, so generally, but so imquainted with this house !" said perfectly known, by the malign Nr. Daly. “Were I a minister, antithesis, and epigrammatic lines and wished to carry a very untow- of Pope. His mother, Lady Hera ard measure, it would be directly vey, was also the subject of that after we had passed some strong poet's muse; but his muse when resolution against the Court. So playful and in good humour. Two blended is the good nature of Irish noblemen of very distinguished tagentlemen with their habitual ac- lents, the earls of Chesterfield and quiescence, that unless party, or Bath, have also celebrated her in the times, are very violent indeed, a most witty and popular ballad. we always wish to shrink from a Lord Bristol was a man of consisecond resolution against a minis- derable parts, but far more brilter, and to make, as it were, some liant than solid. His family was atonement for our precipitate pa. indeed famous for talents, equally triotism, by as rapid a return to so for eccentricity; and the eccenour original civility and complai. tricity of the whole raceshone out,
and seemed to be concentrated in
him. In one respect, he was not He died at an early period, not unlike Villiers, duke of Bucking. very much beyond forty. A nerv- ham, “ Every thing by starts, and ous disorder, to which he had been nothing long." Generous but unlong subject, at last closed his days. certain
; splendid, but fantastical; He rose to speak one night in the an admirer of the fine arts, without House of Commons, when, after any just selection; engaging, often delivering a sentence or two, with licentious in conversation; eximperfect articulation, he made a tremely polite, extremely violent; full pause. The house cheered himit is indubitably true, that amidst with its usual approbation and re- all his erratic course, his bounty spect. He continued silent. It was was not seldom directed to the then perceived that his malady had most proper and deserving objects. so much increased, as to render His distribution of church livings, him totally unable to go on. The chiefly, as I have been informed, stillness which succeeded for some among the older and respectable moments, and the generous sym. clergy in his own diocese, must alpathy which the house displayed, ways be mentioned with that warm anxious at the same time to con- approbation which it is justly enceal, if possible, their feelings from titled to. It is said, (how truly I him, produced the most interest- know not) that he had applied for ing, indeed affecting scene, which the Bishopric of Durham, afterI ever witnessed in any popular wards for the Lieutenancy of Ireassembly. It was the last effort land; was refused both, and, hinc he ever made to express his senti- illa lacryme, hence his opposiments in public.
tion. But the inequality, the ir