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abruptly to Mr. Elliot, the English Minister, and asked: “What “ is the Duchess of Kingston's family name?” This transition
was less Pindaric than it appears; he had just been speaking of the Court of Petersburg, and that Lady was then there.68 Whereupon Sherlock hops his ways again ; leaving us considerably uncertain. But, by a curious accident, here, at first hand, is confirmation of the flighty creature;—a Letter from Excellency Elliot himself having come our way:
To William Eden, Esquire (of the Foreign-Office, London ; Elliot's Brother-in-law; afterwards Lord Auckland).
“Berlin, 12th October 1777. “My dear Eden,- If you are waiting upon the pinnacle of “all impatience to give me news from the Howes” (unknown to us, of no interest to us), “I am waiting with no less impatience
to receive it, and think every other subject too little interest“ing to be mentioned. I must, however, tell you, the King has “ been here ;69 to the astonishment of all croakers, hearty and in
high spirits. He was very civil to all of us. I was attended " by one dozen English, which nearly completes my half-hundred “this season. Pitt made one of the twelve, and was particularly
distinguished. KING: 'Monsieur est-il parent de Mylord Chat" ham ? Pitt: Oui, Sire. KING : “C'est un homme que j'ai “ beaucoup estimé.
“ You have no idea of the joy the people expressed to see “ the King on Horseback,—all the Grub-street nonsense of a “ Country groaning under the weight of its burdens,' of 'a Na“ tion governed with a rod of iron,' vanished before the sincere “ acclamations of all ranks, who joined in testifying their enthu“ siasm for their great Monarch. I long for Harris and Com
pany” (Excellency Harris; making for Russia, I believe);
they are to pig together in my house; so that I flatter myself “ with having a near view, if not a taste, of connubial joys. My 6 love to E and e” (your big Eleanor and your little, a baby in
Sherlock, ii. 27.
• Came to Berlin, 8th October,' on the Van-Swieten errand ; 'saw Princess Amelia twice ; and on the 9th, returned to Potsdam' (Rödenbeck, iii. 172).
April–Oct. 1777. arms, who are my Sister and Niece ;-pretty, this!). “Your most affectionate,
H. E." “P.S. I quite forgot to tell you, I sent out a servant some “ time ago to England to bring a couple of Horses. He will “ deliver some Packets to you; which I beg you will send, with “Lord Marischal's compliments, to their respective Addresses. “ There is also a china cup for Mr. Macnamara, Lawyer, in the “ Temple or Lincoln's Inn, from the same person” (lively old gentleman, age 91 gone; did die next year). “What does “ Eleanor mean about my Congratulatory Letter to Lord Suf“ folk” (our Foreign Secretary, on his marriage lately)? “I % wished his Lordship, most sincerely, every happiness in his “ new state, as soon as I knew of it. I beg, however, Eleanor “ will do the like ;-and although it is not my system to 'con
gratulate anybody upon marriage, yet I never fail to wish “ them what, I think, it is always two to one they do not " obtain."70
As to the Dalrymple of Sherlock, read this (Friedrich to D'Alembert, two years beforel): " A Mylord “ of wonderful name” (Lord Dalrymple, if I could remember it), “ of amiable genius (au nom baroque, à “ l'esprit aimable), gave me a Letter on your part. ""Ah, how goes the Prince of Philosophers, then? “ Is he gay; is he busy; did you see him often? To " which the Mylord: 'I? No; I am straight from Lon66 don!'”_" Quoi donc — ?! In short, knowing my Anaxagoras, this Mylord preferred to be introduced by him; and was right: “One of the amiablest Eng. “lishmen I have seen ;-I except only the name, which " I shall never remember" (but do, on this new occasion): “Why doesn't he get himself unchristened of it, " and take that of Stair, which equally belongs to him?" (Earl of Stair by and by; Nephew, or Grand-Nephew,
70 Eden-House Correspondence (part of which, not this, has been published, in late years).
n Euvres de Frédéric, xxv. 21 : 5th August 1775.
April-Oct. 1777. of the great Earl of Stair, once so well known to some of us. Becomes English Minister here in 1785, if we much cared.)
That word of reminiscence about Pitt is worth more attention. Not spoken lightly, but with meaning and sincerity; something almost pathetic in it, after the sixteen-years separation : “A man whom I much esteemed," —and had good reason to do so! Pitt's subsequent sad and bright fortunes, from the end of the Seven-Years War and triumphant summing-up of the Jenkins's-Ear Question, are known to readers. His Burton-Pynsent meed of honour (Estate of 3,0001. a-year bequeathed him by an aged Patriot, “Let this bit of England go a noble road!"); his lofty silences, in the World Political; his vehement attempts in it, when again asked to attempt, all futile, --with great pain to him, and great disdain from him his passionate impatiences on minor matters, 'labourers' (ornamenting Burton-Pynsent Park, in Somersetshire) planting trees by torchlight;' “kitchen people' (at Hayes in North Kent, House still to be seen) roasting a series of chickens, chicken after chicken, all day, that at any hour, within ten minutes, my Lord may dine!'-these things dwell in the worthy reader. Here, saved from my poor friend Smelfungus (nobody knows how much of him I suppress), is a brief jotting, in the form of rough memoranda, if it be permissible:
'Pitt four years King; lost in quicksands, after that; off to Bath, from gout, from semi-insanity; "India should pay, but • how?” Lost in General-Warrants, in Wilkes Controversies, • American Revolts-generally, in shallow quicksands ;--dies • at his post, but his post had become a delirious one.
'A delicate, proud, noble man ; pure as refined gold. Something sensitive, almost feminine in him; yet with an edge, a
April-Oct. 1777. • fire, a steadiness; liker Friedrich, in some fine principal points, than any of his Contemporaries. The one King England has had, this King of Four Years, since the Constitutional system set in. Oliver Cromwell, yes indeed,—but he died, and there was nothing for it but to hang his body on the gallows. Dutch · William, too, might have been considerable,—but he was Dutch, and to us proved to be nothing. Then again, so long as Sarah Jennings held the Queen's Majesty in bondage, some gleams of * Kinghood for us under Marlborough :-after whom Noodleism
and Somnambulism, zero on the back of zero, and all our Affairs, ' temporal, spiritual and eternal, jumbling at random, which we • call the Career of Freedom, till Pitt stretched out his hand
upon them. For four years; never again, he; never again one • resembling him,—nor indeed can ever be.
“Never, I should think. Pitts are not born often; this Pitt's “ideas could occur in the History of Mankind once only. Stranger theory of society, completely believed in by a clear, sharp and altogether human head, incapable of falsity, was seldom heard • of in the world. For King: open your mouth, let the first
gentleman that falls into it (a mass of Hanover stolidity, stu'pidity, foreign to you, heedless of you) be King: Supreme Majesty he, with hypothetical decorations, dignities, solemn appliances, high as the stars (the whole, except the money, a mendacity, and sin against Heaven): him you declare Sentof-God, Supreme Captain of your England; and having done s0,—tie him up (according to Pitt) with Constitutional straps, so that he cannot stir hand or foot, for fear of accidents: in . which state he is fully cooked; throw me at his Majesty's feet, 6 and let me bless Heaven for such a Pillar of Cloud by day.
'Pitt, closely as I could scrutinise, seems never to have doubted in his noble heart but he had some reverence for George II. “Reverenced his Office,” says a simple reader? * Alas no, my friend, man does not “reverence Office,” but only • sham-reverences it. I defy him to reverence anything but a Man filling an Office (with or without salary) nobly. Filling a noble office ignobly; doing a celestial task in a quietly infernal * manner? It were kinder perhaps to run your sword through • him (or through yourself) than to take to revering him! If
April—Oct. 1777. 'inconvenient to slay him or to slay yourself (as is oftenest
likely),-keep well to windward of him; be not, without necessity, partaker of his adventures in this extremely earnest • Universe!'
No; Nature does not produce many Pitts nor will any " Pitt ever again apply in Parliament for a career. 6 Your “ voices, your most sweet voices; ye melodious torrents of Gada
renes Swine, galloping rapidly down steep places,—1, for one, « know whither!” -Enough.
About four months before this time, Elliot had done a feat, not in the Diplomatic line at all, or by his own choice at all, which had considerably astonished the Diplomatic world at Berlin, and was doubtless well in the King's thoughts during this introduction of the Dozen. The American War is raging and blundering along, a delectable Lord George Sackville (alias Germaine) managing as War-Minister, others equally skilful presiding at the Parliamentary helm; all becoming worse and worse off, as the matter proceeds. The revolted Colonies have their Franklins, Lees, busy in European Courts: “Help us in our noble struggle, ye European Courts; now is your chance on tyrannous England!” To which France at least does appear to be lending ear. Lee, turned out from Vienna, is at work in Berlin, this while past; making what progress is uncertain to some people.
I know not whether it was by my Lord Suffolk's instigation, or what had put the Britannic Cabinet on such an idea, -perhaps the stolen Letters of Friedrich, which show so exact a knowledge of the current of events in America as well as England (“ knows every step of it, as if he were there himself, the Arch-Enemy of honest neighbours in a time of stress!")—but it does appear they had got it into their sagacious heads that