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ples, that is, attached to monarchy one gentleman (I lay claim to that and the people. From the mo- word only as our ancestors unment that he first took his seat in derstood, and limited the use of the House of Lords, to the close it) in either House of Parliament, of his life (a long period), his or out of Parliament, who, if acconduct was that of a truly inde- quainted with him, did not regard pendent Peer. He often opposed, and respect him. His house will he never attempted to vilify or be long, very long, remembered; debase the Government. With it was for many years the seat of many of the Lord Lieutenants he refined hospitality, of good nature, lived on terms of intiniacy or and good conversation; in doing civility; but, I believe, never the honours of it, Lord Moira had once asked a favour from one of certainly one advantage above them. With an elocution most most men, for he had
assist unembarrassed, as I have already ance that true magnificence, the stated, but adapted, perhaps, nobleness of manners peculiar to more to society than public life, exalted birth, and talents for socieand with general political know- ty the most cultivated, could give ledge, he very seldom spoke in him, in his illustrious Countess. Parliament; on one or two occasions he was forced, by idle asperity, to assert himself; he did so,
MR. BROWNLOW. with a just spirit and his usual good manners. In the earlier part of It was impossible for any one his life he had lived much abroad, who sat and voted with Mr. or in England, in the best com- Brownlow, forseveral years in Parpany of the older part of the court liament, to pass over his death of George the Second, and to his without offering some tribute to last hour retained the agreeable his memory. His ancestors had, and polished manners of that for more than a century, repre. society; in this respect it is not sented the county of Armagh, and easy to do him justice : there was he himself became one of its memnothing artificial, nothing forced, bers very early in life. His elec. in his good breeding; it was a tion was not only severely concourtesy always flowing, never tested, but became afterwards the wearying, directed to every one, source of a most notable trial of but still measured ; never losing parliamentary strength between sight of the humblest as well as of Primate Stone and Mr. Boyle. the highest in his company, never
Mr. Brownlow had been espoused displaying his rank, and never de- by the former. The only question parting from it. Lord Charle. regarded, at that time, in the mont used often to say, that he was Committee of Elections, was, one of the best bred men of his whether the petitioner or sitting age. He had, like other men, his member was most favoured by foibles, but they were slight, and those who had most parliamentoo often magnified by illiberality, tary influence. Nothing else was ignorance, and adulation of minis- thought on. This was indecorous terial power; but there was not in the extreme; but it was not an
indecorum of which our House of stood accurately, and the agreeCommons bad monopoly, as, till able opera of Midast was, in some Mr. Grenville's bill, something of measure, planned, the airs rea similar profligacy prevailed in St. hearsed, and altogether prepared Stephen's Chapel. The division for the stage, at his house. With on the Westminster election first the acquirements of the men of shook, and that on the Chippen- rank and fashion of his day, he ham contest removed Sir Robert had their manners, which were Walpole. To this field of battle *
more polished than familiar ; but then, this parliamentary Philippi, that deportment, which was seriif I may be allowed the phrase, the ous and dignified, contributed not opposing chiefs always resorted, a little to the gentleman-like air, and decided their pretensions to and agreeable solemnity which power. The Primate carried Mr. formerly distinguished the House Brownlow's election, I think, by of Commons. It has long since one vote, in a very full house; the vanished. struggle was violent. Mr. Brown. low retained his situation upwards of forty years, and was one of the LORD CHARLEMONT. most independent members that ever sat in the House of Com- To write the life of such a man, mons of Ireland. Whenever he may be, perhaps, impartially con- . spoke, he was heard with peculiar sidered as a matter of some diffiattention and respect. To orato- culty. Though engaged much, rial powers he laid no claim ; but and acting the most honourable he delivered his sentiments with part in political life, he could not uncommon perspicuity, great neat- be strictly called a statesman; ness, great elegance, and, occa- though a member of an ancient, sionally, with a tempered fire and deliberative assembly, he was not spirit, which were felt by every an orator ; though possessed of one around him; he never spoke the purest taste, and distinguished at any length. With the rules by many literary performances, and proceedings of the House, which do honour to his memory, he he was well acquainted; and had cannot, without a violation of hisso general a knowledge of parlia- torical truth, be entitled to the mentary affairs, that, on the resig.. name of an eminent author; and nation of the Speaker's chair by though the distinguished leader of Mr. Ponsonby, he was proposed many gallant bands, he will find no to succeed him, and very nearly place among the conquerors, or obtained it. He had many ac
desolators of mankind. Nil horum. complishments;. music he under-. But he was better than all this,
In an interview with Mr. Peiham, then Minister, Mr Dodington frankly acknowledges, that he (Mr. Pelbam) could turn out two or more gentlemen, on a petition, notwithstanding their undisputed election at a particular Borongh, or even County. They were Dodington's Parliamentary friends. I quote from memory. See bis Diary
+ This original and very popular Opera, was written by Kane O'Hara, Esq. a mau of talent and genius.
He was, in every sense of the word, scene, however, so presented, is an excellent man. Of morals un. not only not exempt from the gestained; of mind, of manners, the neral agency of huinan misery, for most elegant. He was not only what place is so; but it pariakes such a fine gentleman as Addison at one period of those horrors, has sketched with a happy pencil, which have given such a pre emibut passed far beyond the limits of nence in calamity to the present, that character. He was, with some epocha in society. That it did, allowance for those slight errors not abound in more, and that at which adhere to the best disposi. an early period in Lord Charletions, a patriot of the justest views, mort's political life, it was not who kept his loyalty and his zeal hurried into a contest of a very in the most perfect unison. His different nature from that of 1798, sole object seemed to have been the may surely, without any strained good and melioration of his coun- eulogy, be attributed to him ; anid, iry. To a certain degree he ob, it cannot be too often repeated, tained that object. He obtained the moderation and good sense of a triumph over the ancient preju-' those who 'acted with him. For dices, and ancient policy, which such wise and healing conduct, held the legislature of this country slightly discoloured as it might be in thraldom. Heindeed lived long with occasional imperfections, his enough to see that triumph idly, memory is entitled to just and lastand ungratefully depreciated. But ing praise. With regard to the his laurels are not the less glorious. Catholic question, on which, and, They were certainly all pacific; as I think, mos unhappily, Parliaand if many a venal statesman, or ment is yet so divided. Lord Charthose who were interested in con. lemont, in 1793, voted against fusion, secretly lamented that they the concession of the elective franwere so, I am fully aware, that chise to the Roman Catholics, and many a reader, also, will consider' it is evident, from his letters in the pages
which record such 1795, that he had not then relinlaurels, as cold, vapid, and unine quished his former sentiments. teresting.
Some time after (I know not the Sed magis pugnas, et exactos tyrannos, precise period), they underwent Densum humeris, bibit aure vulgus. some change, but, in truth, he
But if ever the rage for war can never altogether abandoned them. be satiated, the period on which we But that he truly loved all his have fallen, would, I think, abun. countrymen, that he always felt dantly satisfy the most wretched for the degraded situation of the avidity in that respect ; and the Catholics, and early in life wished change of dethroned, or exiled to change it, cannot be controvert. monarchs, has been so frequent, ed. He rose above ancient preju. that these humble Memoirs may dice, and the history of former have a chance of being read, even days, when he cultivated such feel. from the difference of scene which ings ; for the murder of his ancesthey present to those who cast tor, Lord Charlemont, in 1641, their wearied eyes over the deso- was often present to his mind, but lated continent of Europe. The it neither obscured his intellect, nor extinguished his benevolence. tion, when they come into office, To punish the living for the mis- as it furnishes their adversaries deeds of those who had been a cen- with such copious and inconvenitury and a half in their graves, and ent recollections. In truth, to such misdeeds basely amplified, hear some leaders of opposition was, he thought, a policy peculi- talk, one would imagine that they arly humiliating to the understand
never meant to come into
power; ings of those who practised it. and when they are in power, so Such vulgarity of sentiment he dissimilar is their language, that could not indulge in. But the they never were once out of it. liberty and prosperity of his coun. To all such leaders, Lord Charletry were his objects; and as he saw mont never belonged. Or, could that they could not be obtained we even suppose that, unintenbut partially, without a general tionally, or above all suspicion of union of Irishmen, his ruling pas- their motives, he was, for a mosion, even in death, not withered, ment united with such, it might but regulated by long experience, be truly said of him, as Antony and much reflection, led him to said of Brutus, some dereliction of early opinions, “He only in a general, honest thought, and the experiment of a novel “And common good to all, made one policy.
of them." Lord Charlemont co-operated Whatever his accidental or necesoften, indeed generally, with those sary co-operation, his party was who acted as a party, and pro. only that of his country; and if, in fessed that they did so; a party his Parliamentary conduct, there founded on common principles, was any particular defect, it arose and those principles congenial to merely from that jealousy, which, the common interest. A party certainly, not only the constitution pursuing such a system is neces- abstractedly, but the situation of sary in our form of government, this country, too often demanded ; and is to be applauded. But let a jealousy, however, which, in us not panegyrize or expect too some few instances, might be said much. The more ignoble motives to have extended too far, and withof human action often intermingle out that necessary allowance for themselves with the pursuits of human dealings, which our lamentevery party; and how often is a
able nature so frequently requires. debate brought forward, or a Nothing could be more just, or question opposed, for the sole more worthy the attention of Irepurpose of gratifying the spleen orland, than the observation of Mr. humour of the day? Plus stoma. Fox, in his letter to Lord Charlecho, quam consilio dedit, may be mont regarded as the device of too many “ That country can never prosoppositions; and it is no less un- per, where what should be the generous than unwise, for it not ambition of men of honour, is only injures them in the eyes of . considered as a disgrace.” the public, but eventually proves It was sadly exemplified in Irethe source of embarrassing, and land. Had ihose who enjoyed most awkward personal molesta- and deserved public confidence, taken office in defiance of popular was then far from young. Had
' prejudice, their disinterestedness he, in earlier life, persevered in might have. gradually worn out his efforts as a public speaker, I that prejudice, and by adding pub- make no doubt that he would have lic opinion to the weight of their been an excellent one. That he own character,out-balanced mere was alive to every nobler feeling in ministerial authority on many an public life, has been amply shown. important topic. That he did not His sensibility, and delicacy of speak in Parliament, or in public, taste, led him to the study of the LordCharlemont always lamented. fine arts, and polite literature in It is surely not necessary, though all its branches. Hence his comsome writers have thought it 80, munication with every erudite or
so to make an apology for that which lettered man, at home or abroad: can require none, and introduce a the Marquis Maffei, in Italy, crowd of splendid names, Addison, Prince Czartoryski, in Poland, St.
, Prior, Soame Jenyns, and others, Palaye, Nivernois, Montesquieu, to keep, according to atrite phrase, and the Comte de Caylus, in any senator in countenance, who France. He had a great respect never delivered his sentiments in for some of the Scotch literati; Parliament. The talent of public but I am not enabled to particuspeaking is a peculiar gift; and larize them. The men of science whatever Lord Chesterfield may and genius in England, to whom say on the subject, though prac. he was known, have been already tice will certainly improve such a mentioned. Mr. Malone, whom faculty, nature must bestow it, as the lovers of Shakspeare must much as another endowment of the ever respect, he always loved and mind. In private conversation, esteemed, and preserved an uninLord Charlemont was above most terrupted correspondence with.
No one could speak with of his countrymen who resided more ease, purity, and perspicuity, altogether in Ireland, Dr. Leland, But they who imagine that those that excellent scholar, mentions persons who so excel, would his Lordship as his first and early equally excel in public, adopt a patron, and their intercourse was very erroneous opinion. Collu. liberal and frequent; many others quial powers are, in truth, so to might be adduced, or have been tully distinct, that he who is highly so, in the course of this work. I gifted with suchi, and has long ex- believe that few instances occur, ercised them apart from politics, of any one so engaged in public will find it difficult, perhaps im- life, as for more than forty years possible, at a certain period of life, he was, who paid such unremitting to catch the tone and style of attention to letters. public speaking. Even at the In painting, sculpture, and above academy, where he might have all, in architecture, his taste and been said to be at home, Lord knowledge were discriminating Charlemont could not deliver any and profound. Yet his modesty thing that had the semblance of a and uniform desire to assist inge. speech, or an harangue, without nious merit were no ways inferiors being totally disconcerted, but he The late Dr. Quin, who was him