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this spirit Cæsar wept when he saw revives when he talks of politics-the the statue of Alexander, and disdain languid philosopher becomes a man. ed himself for having done so little at The unpopular Ministry at this time an age which, in the dead hero, had were kept in existence not by their been sufficient to subvert one empire own strength, but by the feebleness of and found another. In our own time their adversaries. The « vis inertie" Nelson, before he rose to command, alone kept them in their places :was the most fretful of men. Napo- “ Opposition,” says Grattan, “is in leon, in early life, was miserable; com- à languid and a divided state. Death plained of the miseries of inactivity; bas not spared it. Mr Grenville's deand, in the profligate but expressive parture was a tremendous blow: he phraseology of his period, declared, was an able financier, with a contracteven when at the height of power, that ed but a shrewd mind; the object of he was like the devil, always wretched the prejudices and hopes of many a unless he was busy ; the good or evil, man who had some portion of English probably, being no question with this principle. He died on the first day of copy of the great Agitator of man- the session. His death was lamented kind. But those traits are worth pre- by Barré, who was great that day. His serving, not merely as sketches of boldness and his fury were engaging, mind, but as pointing out to others the and his military character was sustrue mode of converting despondency tained with warmth and success. into hope, and turning great powers Grattan, on his arrival in Ireland, from being the tormentors into the instantly connected himself with Oppostimulants of the mind. Hewrites from sition, who were then violently attackWindsor in 1770, like a man about to ing Lord Townshend's government. drown himself from mere weariness of A succession of letters in newspapers existence :
was their first display. Among those
contributions was “ The Character of “I write this letter from the dullest soli.
Lord Chatham.” On its being shown tude which even I have ever experienced.
in MS., Langrishe observed that You know my mind has ever had a hankering after misery. I have cultivated that they should not
let that go, (be lost.)
" But how shall we introduce it?" defect with astonishing success, and have pow. refined my mind into the most aching sen
said Flood. Langrishe playfully re
sibility imaginable. I have been of late much plied — “I'll settle it: we'll put it alone, in a beautiful situation, but a disagree in a note, as if from Dr Robertson. ble condition, so much so, that it has over- He is going to publish a new edition of come my taste for books, my passion for
his America—that is Chatham's subject. writing, and my attachment for rurality. I So we shall say, we have been favourcall upon you in my miserable moments to ed with this character of the chamarouse your declining friend, a prey to his pion of the colonies.” The idea caprice. I know of no panacea for my
amused them; and many persons
aftermind but you
The fact is, I wards looked for the character in have no resolution, and in solitude feel the Robertson's volumes, and of course most frivolous incidents as great calamities. were surprised at their disappointMy mind stagnates in retirement, and a drop ment. of adversity circulates in uneasiness all over
Langrishe was a happy specimen of it. When the devastation I
the Irish gentleman of past days. He speak of will suffer me to apply to nobler objects, and to soar a little above the dregs of the habits of association with the best
was a man of talents cultivated by the earth, I am not entirely amiss in the pur- society, and strengthened by public suits of improvement.'
life; a patriot, so far as to wish well The fact was, that a man with this to the general advancement of the kind of sensibility should not have country, but without taking any share gone to the shades of Windsor Forest, in the violences of party. The habit as he did, in the gloomy month of of the time was a pleasantry which November, when the sight of a tree softened the asperities of politics ; the suggests nothing but the idea of being care of nations not having yet sunk suspended from its branches. The into the hands of the mob, or of the streets of London, with all their smoke, coarse and sullen villains who play their mire, and their noise, would have the mob into each other's hands, and done him more good than a forest barter the menaces of the rabble for of nightingales. Yet he evidently power.
Some of Langrishe's plea
santries are still remembered. On ruffled, he bore down all before him. one occasion, when riding with Lord He always improved as he proceeded Townshend through the Phænix Park in the debate, for he had no superior (the Hyde Park of Dublin), the vice- in the art of disputation ; so that his roy complained of the negligence of second speech was always better than his predecessors in leaving this place his first, and when he made a third, it of public, recreation in a swampy was superior to either. state—" Oh," said Langrishe, “ they Flood was made for public life. He had too much to do in druining the came into Parliament in the vigour country !”
of life, in his thirtieth year, at a pe“ Which do you think, Langrishe, riod auspicious for commencing a pubthe best history of Ireland ?" was lic career--the first year of the reign once asked. The answer was prompt. of George III. Educated for the bar,
“ The continuation of Rapin" (ra- and thus possessing the true ground-, pine).
work of Parliamentary knowledge; Townshend was clever, but a rough opulent, for he possessed five thousand soldier ; vain, but steady to his pur- a-year, a sum which in Ireland was equipose of controlling Irish party; a man valent to fifteen thousand in this country of pleasure, but eager in grasping at and at the present time; a vigorous stucvery object of distinction. He had dent, an accomplished scholar, a keen exhibited his avidity for honours in a politician; full of the determination to rather too hasty manner in the Cana- make himself conspicuous in public dian war.
On the death of the heroic life, and adding to those qualities the Wolfe, Townshend, impatient to obtain essential of a political leader in Irethe reputation of the conquest, accepted land—the most reckless disregard of the surrender of the town. But for personal danger-Flood was formed by this piece of presumption he was nature and by art to be the Parliamenobliged to make a written apology to tary chieftain of his country. General Monckton, who had succeeded Among the unhappy singularities Wolfe, and was superior officer to which have long drawn the line beTownshend. When the latter, on his tween Ireland and civilisation, duelling return to England, attended the levee, was prominent. “ Be ready with the George II. turned away from him in pistol!" was the precept of an Irish marked displeasure. But Charles Polonius to his descendant. The reTownshend, his brother, pushed him sult of this barbarian practice was the on until he got the King to speak to presumed necessity, on the part of him, which, however, was not accom- every public man, of " drawing blood." plished without difficulty.
Flood, when in the height of his career, One of the prominent characters of however, was called into the field by a these volumes, and of his time, was private quarrel. The families of the Henry Flood. He is recorded as “the Agars and Flood had a private feud for first who introduced oratory into the some time, arising out of a ParliamenHouse of Commons.” He was an tary contest for a borough, the fruitexcellent man for party-ever ready. ful source of quarrel among the idle His knowledge enabled him to attack, patriots of Ireland. The elder Agar and his powers of satire gave him had challenged Flood : they fought, great advantage in reply ; quick, and Agar was slightly wounded. But sharp, and severe, a good debater for the hostility did not end with the reneven if defeated, he returned undaunt. contre. Agar soon commenced the ed to the charge, and renewed the con- quarrel upon new grounds-some test with surpassing perseverance. trifiing affair of a case of pistols lost He was a great master of logic, which, by one of Flood's people some months though it sometimes tires, yet in the before. But the narrative of an Irish case of his hearers procured him great duel is best given in Irish description. admiration; for the University, accus- This is a fragment of the letter of Mr tomed to syllogisms, poured forth its Bushe, Grattan's brother-in-law :numerous and ardent hearers, who
“ I hear that Agar had often asked conferred upon him the palm of ora- Flood about his pistols, who had always tory. His spirit, his passion, and his answered, that he had them not, and strength of mind, overcame all lesser
was not accountable for them.' But on defects; and when he grew strongly Friday they produced a challenge, to my animated, and his temper somewhat great surprise ; for if there were any offence,
it was as much an offence any day those shot himself, a human life is destroyed, ten months as it was on that day. They a family perhaps ruined, society instood about fourteen yards asunder. Be- jured, law set at nought and with fore they fired, Mr Agar questioned Mr what gain? Simply to establish the Flood about the pistols in a threatening important fact that Mr A. can stand and offensive manner. Mr Flood an- to be shot by Mr B.; and that two swered very deliberately, “You know I
fools dare commit murder, whenever will not answer you while you ask me in
it may be to the convenience of one of that manner.' Agar refused all concilia
the belligerents, without regarding the tion, and was evidently determined to
laws of either God or man. put his antagonist to death; for, after
Flood, as his career advanced, began some proposals to fire along the line of a
to feel the usual mortifications of pubquickset hedge, and then resting the pistol
lic life. He found that eloquence is on his arm, both of them prohibited by the
not always resistless, where reason is etiquette of gentlemanlike murder, they drew lots for the first fire, which Agar got
on the other side ; that, though the and missed. He then took up his other
populace may applaud the inventor of pistol, and said to Flood,
grievances, the fiction will not always scoundrel !' Flood then presented his
succeed against the actual absence of pistol, which he had held all this time all oppression; and, by a still more with the muzzle turned upwards, and shot authentic fact, that a people increasing Mr Agar through the heart. The left in wealth, security, and freedom, will, breast was towards him, Mr Agar being from time to time, be found tardy in left-handed. He expired in a few minutes, flinging away their actual advantages, without speaking any thing articulate. The for the sake of putting in place a junta coroners have found the verdict specially, of declaimers, ten times more rapa· That he came by his death by a pistol. cious, rash, and burdensome, than bullet,' without mentioning Mr those whom their clamours have exFlood's name.
cluded from office. He complained Nothing could be more polished that he could not trust any man, than this mode of putting a country or any party ; that when he acted gentleman out of the world; and even with a party, their views were discothe delicacy of the coroner, as we see, vered ; and that when he acted with a receives its praise. Yet what is the few, their views also were discovered ; reality of the case ? A man is killed, when he acted with an individual, forno possible reason but that aquarrel, his views were betrayed. The great worthy of two children, arises between man was evidently coming round. two men. Law being out of the ques- His next maxim was, that the Governtion, blood-shedding is the well-bred ment was too powerful to be opposed resource ; justice having nothing to - that the people were too weak to do in the case, the gentlemen take resist--and, finally, that a patriot could the decision into their own hands, con- serve his country only by place. His stitute a law of force, and execute it conversion was now evidently not far off. by an act of murder. The fact in It soon became practical.
The secre. this instance being, that the murder tary of the Lord-Lieutenant turned his was not for any personal loss, or any attention on the discontented patriarch. injury capable of being felt in proper. To pull down the head of Opposition ty or person, but simply from the de- was an object worth some trouble. Flood termination of Mr Agar to kill Mr yielded coyly, but he went the comFlood, as putting him out of the way mon course of party patriotism after would be a convenience at the hustings. all. After a reluctance of three years, But murder by an assassin, in the re- he took a place; and the public were gular Italian style, not being the eti. astonished at the formidable announcequette in Ireland, the gentleman as- ment that Henry Flood was enlisted sassin adopted the only other mode in under Lord Harcourt's banner as Vice which the murder might be com- Treasurer of Ireland, with a salary of mitted, without risking his own neck L.3500 a year. This change naturally
in case of his being found out. Yet armed all the hundred hands of party is a murder the less such, because the against him. He was plunged into an intended victim is told that he is the ocean of obloquy. Even office did not mark, or because a pistol is put into make a sufficient recompense for the his hand, and he is told that he must loss of the popularity on which he had stand at fourteen paces off to be shot? fed so fondly, so foolishly, and so long. Whether he shoots his opponent, or is He guarded his dignity by a sullen
silence which could not retrieve his vagances of popular harangues, into character. He rather rebuked the a hatred of the only country which Government when he spoke, than as- could, or ever can, administer knowsisted it. He had gained by his con. ledge, tranquillity, or freedom to Ireversion nothing but money, which he land. did not want, and lost by it all that he While Grattan was at the Temple, he did--the smiles of party and the persuading himself to study law, a shouts of the multitude. Such is the persuasion in which he never sucnatural and the deserved fate of those ceeded, he had opportunities of studywho begin by going too far. Flood ing the more congenial statutes of was a demagogue until he became a party. Lord North's Ministry, once placeman ; he opposed every thing popular, had fallen into sudden disreuntil he became bound to submit to pute. Wilkes was the thorn on which every thing.
Formed with great the Minister had most inadvertently powers to guide the country, he was trod, and which he could never extract. content to lead a faction; and, con- Nothing can be more against all sound scious that the true direction of public policy in a minister, than to involve prosperity was in the path of peace, the Crown in a contest with an indivihe exerted his fine abilities, his per- dual. The inequality of force itself sonal influence, and his Parliamentary makes it unpopular at once, and the weight, to urge the country into a thousands who hate all authority, inpractical rebellion against England. stantly take up the quarrel on the plea He finally made a desperate effort to of manliness; the cause becomes that return to his party. But its throne was of the oppressed against the oppressor ; vacant no longer. A younger aspi- and a disturber, who ought to have rant was already seated there. Grat- adorned the pillory, is raised on the tan had been fixed in popular supre- shoulders of the populace to an equalmacy by acclamation; and the patriotity with his king. Burke expressively placeman was left to lament the origi, termed the whole process—“ A traginal want of principle which had led comedy, acted by his Majesty's serhim to embrace popularity for truth- vants, at the desire of several persons to embitter public passion instead of of quality, for the benefit of Mr Wilkes, enlightening public ignorance; and, and at the expense of the constitution." for the sake of seizing power by the But the subject abounds on us, and violence of an excited people, inflame we must, for the present, break off them, by the exaggerations and extra- here.
ROT YOUR ITALIANOS !
BY A MAN BEHIND HIS AGE.
“ Rot your Italianos ! for my part, kindling eye, to the “uptrilled strain" I loves a simple ballat!” At the risk of some one of those great metropoliof being excommunicated from civil- tan stars, which every now and then ized society for the next twenty years,
condescend to shoot like meteors I honour the memory of the country through our rural hemisphere, to turn mayoress, who gave vent to her out- the heads and empty the pockets of the raged nationality in that most passions wondering
lieges by their “most sweet ate and unsophisticated ejaculation. voices.” I can fancy her speechless
The spirit which gave birth to it was astonishment at the first burst of the British to the backbone-a despiser of unknown tongue upon her unprepared fashions, and a hater of Frenchmen. ear--her glance of dignified expostuI can picture her to my mind's eye, lation at the unheeding man of semiseated by the side of her magisterial quavers—and, finally, her indignation spouse on the front bench in the at the audacity which offers such an Town-Hall, glorious in crimson velvet insult to her understanding bursting and orange trimmings, majestic in forth, uncontrolled and uncontrollable, feathers and furbelows, pre-eminent in that most energetic of anathemasin paste, and magnificent in mosaic “Rot your Italianos !" gold_listening, with open mouth and How far my taste and that of the
worthy lady in question might coincide hand acquainted with the details of in the selection of our 5 simple ballats,” the story to be enacted, very naturally I cannot of course presume to decide ; concluded, from the armour and the but, however we might happen to differ uplifted voice, that the worthy gentlein the application, in principle we are man-for he was too smart for a warone:-Rot your Italianos !--give me der—was somebody or other of modesomething I can understand.
rate personal courage, who was supI shall never forget the first time I posed to be going about his business ever went to the Italian Opera. In- in a neighbourhood of indifferent redeed her Majesty's Theatre (Alas putation, and singing as he went, that the theatre, par excellence her either to let any lurking clerk of St Majesty's, should be the only theatre in Nicholas understand that he was by London where her Majesty's mother- no means timorous, or, for the old tongue is never spoken !) was the classical reason, because he happened first playhouse in which I ever set my to have no superfluity of broad pieces foot, and my anticipations were mag- in his breeches pocket, and consenificent—though to attempt to de- quently nothing to apprehend. As I scribe them, after Charles Lambe's afterwards learned, I never was more delightful account of a similar epoch mistaken in my life--but that is antiin his existence, would be worse than cipating. Well, after a proper quan
Tap, tap, tap, went the con- tity of walking, and ditto of singing, ductor's baton, and crash went the enter on the opposite side another whole orchestra at once ;- but what gentleman, (whom, for the sake of was the overture to one whose eyes perspicuity, I will call gentleman No. were riveted upon the curtain, and 2,) with a drawn sword and an inwhose whole soul was wrapt in ex- flamed countenance. Suddenly perpectation of the wonders it conceal- ceiving Gentleman No. 1, he stops, ed? I have listened with delight since and thunders forth three lines of douthen to many a noble overture ; but at ble bass, to which the individual so that moment, had it been an angel's addressed responds in twice as many lyre, as far as I was concerned, its of counter-tenor, drawing his weapon strings would have been swept unheed- also at the close of the sixth ; whereed. To me the play, and the play upon Gentleman No. 2 turns his back only, was the attraction-of course, I unceremoniously upon Gentleman No. need not say that of the nature of an 1, and fortifies his spirits with a conopera I had but a very imperfect con- siderable quantity of gesticulation, and ception. I knew that there would be a trifle more of the double-bass. As a good deal of singing, but I had no it was now pretty evident that he was notion there was to be nothing else; working himself up into a very murand I knew also that I should not un- derous disposition towards Gentleman derstand the language to be spoken: No 1, I was delighted to observe the but I thought that, if the performance Christian forbearance of the latter were but true to nature, I might be individual, in not taking advantage of able, at any rate, to make a tolerably so favourable an opportunity for smigood guess at what was going on, and ting Gentleman No. 2 under the fifth I pleased myself not a little by the rib at once; but I suppose that he, anticipation of my own success in this like a swan, had a sort of presenticonjectural species of interpretation. ment of his approaching latter end, Well, the overture, endless though it and was determined to have another seemed, nevertheless gave the lie to song before he took his departure: for, appearances, and ended at last. Up when Gentleman No. 2 had ceased, and went the curtain-and behold! a gen- was most heroically "winking and holdtleman with an unexceptionable mous- ing out his iron” before his eyes, he tache, and a spick-and-span new suit very composedly treated us to another of " complete steel," amusing himself five minutes, in a somewhat more with parading backwards and forwards warlike key; and then at it they went before a castle gate only covered with like a couple of gamecocks, till the ivy, and chanting at the top of his predestined Gentleman No. 1 received voice, in what Hamlet calls «
very à lunge in tierce, which I thought choice Italian.” Now I, knowing must have most effectually and immenothing in the world of “ that soft diately given him his quietus. But bastard Latin," and not being before- no ;-rearing himself on his elbow,