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impressively on an occasion so import once, for a wager, run side by side with ant as his début, we can well believe, a race-horse at full speed, for two hunfor he never spoke otherwise ; but dred yards. A hundred yards has been that he spoke with spontaneous elo- sometimes achieved by able performers; quence, we may as justly deny; for he but double the distance is a feat which never did any thing of the kind during was considered to belong to this strong the long after years of his parliamentary and handsome athlete alone. Grattan life. Of all speakers, he was the most (for we presume that it was his conlaborious in preparation. All his pri- temporary who has drawn his characvate hours were said, by those most ter) describes him as " noble, liberal, intimate with him, to be given to the and open-hearted. He had no vanity, study of speeches. And in this we but he had pride ; he was fastidious, are so far from blaming him, that we not vain ; his pride was that of talent. honour the vigour of his application. He had so excellent a manner, that he He had a great object-fame_before conciliated every body. Daly was rather him, and he followed it with the a great speaker than a great debater. ardour of a great mind. We wish that There were men who possessed more the other pursuit of his private hours diligence and information, but he surwere less authentic. Harry Grattan passed them all in talent. The noble was one of the most capital shots of quality of his mind placed him above his time. This, in the atrocious the level of other men. He made use fashion of the day, was regarded as a of the superior genius which nature necessity of public life; and Grat- gave him, to protect the weak: to do tan was said to practise it with his so seemed a part of his nature ; and customary vigour. Paragraplis and if there was a young man in company pistols were his daily employment; hardly pressed, he would come forth to and it was not to be easily settled which his assistance, and throw his shield was the more formidable. Cæsar's
The positions which he character of Brutus, quicquid vult valde took were generally strong, and his skill vult, belonged to this little man of nerve in their defence rendered them impreg. in every thing, whether hitting a mark nable. He almost always prepared or sharpening a sarcasm, whether himself beforehand : satirizing the Treasury Bench or shoot- more care in writing his speeches, and ing down a minister ; and yet his none so little to preserve them.” manners were gentle, his personal con- We then have a slight sketch of his duct was blameless, and his whole private habits---perfectly suited to be course of private life estimable. Such popular in the country and the time: are the melancholy contradictions in- “ His hospitality was great, and flicted on
men of public life, by the his entertainments were frequent and guilty laxity of the law, the feebleness agreeable. He was a good classical of public morality, and the presumed scholar, and possessed an excellent rights of fashion.
All the leading men library; and his books, which were his of Ireland were duellists: to be ready chief personal expense, lay around in to fight any one and every one, was as the room where his friends used to much a recognised facu the faculty meet, and where the resources of his of speech ; and this gross and criminal mind vied with the generosity of his insult to the spirit of all law, divine and disposition.” But another unlucky human, was the common perpetration Irish trait follows: “ His liberality of men of all habits, feelings, and pro- was great, and he left his fortune, in fessions.
consequence, much encumbered.” One of those remarkable men of A curious instance of his political Ireland, who, though scarcely known foresight is recorded. There was a beyond it, would have been largely dinner at Mr Hobart's (the Irish distinguished on a larger sphere, was Secretary of State) in 1785, in the Mr Denis Daly, an individual singu- late Duke of Rutland's viceroyalty, larly gifted by nature and circumstances where Grattan, Daly, Fitz-Gibbon, -of one of the best families in Ireland, and others, met. The Opposition had a man of fortune, a man of fine ability, gained a party triumph : the “ Com. and having, in addition to all, the most mercial Propositions,” a subject of striking comeliness of countenance and violent debate in those days, had been vigour of frame. As a proof of his conceded by the English minister ; bodily activity, he was said to have the party were in high spirits with
their victory. Some of the company triot, having formerly voted for it. alluding to a union, Fitz-Gibbon Natural as was this little act of con. (then Attorney-General) exclaimed; in version, and ready to be emulated an exulting tone, “ Who will dare to by three-fourths of its impugners, it talk of a union now? If such a thing brought down severe reprobation on were proposed to me, I should fling the prime sergeant. Daly closed his my office in the man's face !” The speech by pointing a shaft full at the company were very gay; and when breast of the barrister.
- The TreaFitz-Gibbon retired, Daly said, " That sury Bench,” he exclaimed, “ is the man who would support it—that bles the grave; it levels all distinclittle man who has talked so big, would tions !" The man of elegance was vote for a union-ay, to-morrow. perhaps the more severely pained by
It is highly interesting to us thus to the polish of the sarcasm, and could find rescued from oblivion, men whose merely say, " To receive such attacks characters form a part of the character belongs to my situation; to deserve of their country. The vast transac- them, belongs to myself.”
He was tions of England throw the public life much affected on this occasion, and of Ireland into littleness; but every striking his breast, as he sat down by example of ability and virtue raises the Grattan, he turned to him, and said, dignity of the general mind, and the “If I live, I shall answer it.” He did remotest corner of an empire may thus so; and, says the narrator, in the noadd to its intellectual sovereignty. The blest manner-not indeed by words, great weapon of the Irish House was but by the most dignified and patriotic eloquence—it is the characteristic of conduct, when, after an eloquent the country. Ardour, vividness, and speech in favour of his country, on passion, are eminently qualities of the which occasion he electrified the Írish mind. Among the rude habits of House by the splendid allusion to the the lower people, they degenerate into volunteers of Ireland and the laws of ferocity; among the half-educated England, which he described as sown, class, their soaring is bombast, and like serpents' teeth, and springing up in their passion eccentricity ; but when armed men,”-he resigned his office, cultivated by taste, polished by prac- and gave up all hopes of preferment.
ice, and invigorated by the realities of This is well told; but poor Burgh is public life, they have produced specie only exhibited in the light of that most mens of the noblest oratory since the extraordinary and improbable of all days of Athens and Rome. Grattan, things, a sentimental lawyer. His describing Daly's oratory, strikingly Whig apprenticeship had evidently speaks of it as " a succession of been thrown away upon this romancer. electric shocks, which followed each We can easily imagine how keenly his other so quickly, that they not only former associates must have enjoyed convinced, but subdued the under this milkiness of heart, and how unastanding."
nimously they voted him a simpleton. Irish Parliamentary life was all But with what astonishment must a
we shall give one. Hussey modern Whig read those records; Burgh, the prime sergeant, and a man with what an upturned lip, after his of distinguished elegance of mind, as dozen perfidies within half the number well as learning in his profession, hav- of years, must he scoff at the sensibility ing begun his career as Whig, and, which could thus be stung by the relike every
other Whig, having become collection of a single trip; and, with a placeman as soon as he could, natu. nothing in his glance but profit at any rally excited the wrath of those whom rate, and place by any tenure, how he had left behind, equally willing, but sincerely must he set down the man less successful. His tergiversation was
for a lunatic, who, on any appeal to pursued with a bitterness seldom ex- his principle, could give up either the ercised towards the pirouetlism of a one or the other! lawyer. The professional allowance The year 1779 was the period of an of versatility was harshly refused to the event remarkable in the history of any treasury convert ; and Hussey Burgh, country—the arming of the people. in the end, was tormented out of the The exigencies of the American war world. On the occasion in question, had withdrawn morethan half the stipu
Burgh, the placeman, had voted lated army from Ireland. That force, against an embargo ; Burgh, the pa- by Act of Parliament, had been 12,000
men--it was reduced to 5000. The principles. With sciolists like this, junction of the French court to the government is all things: it is account: American revolters--a junction fatal to able for the wilful laziness of the pothe treacherous monarchy-made it pulace, for the miserable hostility of now necessary to guard against Euro- the peasant to the discharge of his pean invasion. A French fleet had debts, and for the readiness with put to sea, and its destination was said which the pike and the trigger are re. to be the north of Ireland, which was sorted to, as the receipt in full of all full of Dissenters, always hostile to the demands. With equal wisdom such established religion and throne, and haranguers expect that a rescript now boiling over with sudden zeal for from the Council Office can instantly republican America. The magistrates transform beggary into opulence, fil applied for aid to the Government; but fields with culture, towns with manuthe Lord-Lieutenant, with an indolence factories, and ports with ships. which argued the most singular blind- A wiser research, or a more sober ness to the signs of the times, informed understanding, would tell the writers them that he had no troops to spare who ramble on in this labyrinth, that except sixty dragoons This force government, as such, can do nothing, for the defence of Belfast, the second or next to nothing ; that its true purcity in Ireland, and for a large province, pose is simply to protect the loyal by was a burlesque; and applications were putting down the disturbers-to renext made by the inhabitants for leave lieve industry from its pressures, and to form independent companies for let it labour for itself; that its true their own protection. The Irish Se- province is negative ; that where it incretary (Heron) replied to all those ap- terferes strongly, it interferes fatally; plications by a promise of troops, and and that the best government is that some laudatory expressions relative to which is most of the preserver, and the new and self-armed companies. least of the meddler; that its beauThis half approval was seized on by ideal is the watchman, as that of the enthusiasm of the people, the eager- Whiggism is the thief; or, if there be ness of the merchants to secure their one character more ruinous than anproperty, and the party sagacity of other, it is that where it takes the nathose who saw deeper into the conse- tional industry out of the national quences of arming the multitude than hands, lavishes the public wealth in either the supine Lord-Lieutenant or bounties to specious idleness or malig. his purblind secretary.
nant agitation; and making harbours There is a malignant spirit in this without traffic, and railways without book. The author sees England con- intercourse, pours the purse of the tinually with an evil eye. All the acts Treasury into the pockets of faction, of a country which, since she became turns jobber-general, and plunders the Protestant, has alone exercised the empire, to create a rent for the hangerssceptre with justice—has alone labour. on of party. ed to spread the sense of freedom-and He tells us that the Government, in has alone been guiltless of any one act 1779, wanted money, and the army of intentional oppression in a dominion wanted men, This is perfectly true, gradually extending round the world, and this has always been the case in pass before this prejudiced and bitter the earlier years of British war. But partisan as the acts of a tyrant. His why? It is the result of British free. angry folly never stops to enquire dom. If England had been the dowhat object could the superior have in minion of the Czar, the Treasury thus ruining the dependent? It is would have been full, and the troops enough for his childish rage that he have been tens of thousands. But the can declaim on dilapidated revenues, country was not poor. What was the helpless trade, and torpid industry. poverty of that country which could, His headlong ignorance never takes at this very period of clamour, afford the trouble to enquire by what means to raise and equip a volunteer army a country, exhausted for ages by the of twice the amount of the whole war of its own factions, the indolence British force-a sudden army of 50,000 of its own superstitions, and the inve- men, afterwards raised to. 100,000, teracy of its own prejudices, can pos- with guns, tents, and all the necessibly reap the fruits of national pro- saries for the field; clothed by themsperity in the utter abandonment of its selves, able to serve without
able to take spontaneously upon their teers of Ireland, fifty thousand united, own cost for years the defence of the and ready to die for their country !" kingdom. This was no evidence of On a third, “ A short money bil!”. either the poverty with wbich these a free trade, or else,"--and on the windy rhetoricians habitually charge fourth, probably by way of finishing the English Government, nor of the the broken sentence,
« A glorious disaffection which they laboured so dili- Revolution.” These were expressive gently to create. It is notorious, too, enough; but in front were planted, that this army was merely the ad. more expressive still, two fieldpieces, vanced guard, the field-day force, the with this inscription affixed to eachshowy superfluity of the national “ A free trade, or this." The volun. strength; that if the enemy had landed, teers of the different corps in Dublin ten times that force would have been were drawn up round the statue, and ready to oppose them, and that a mil- fired volleys of musketry; all was lion of men in arms would have been acclamation. At night the city was the significant answer to the libellers illuminated, and the triumph of the of their country. So much for 6 a Commons over the Castle was combeggared nation and an exhausted plete. The populace, however, were exchequer.'
not content with these demonstrations. But the influence of Whiggism, al. Sword and pistol in hand, they stopped ways aristocratical when secure, and the members of the Commons on their always revolutionary when in peril, way to the House, in order to extort soon perverted the spirit of the volun- a vote from them for a short money teers. From being the national de- bill. Among the rest they stopped fenders, they were corrupted by fac- the Speaker's carriage, and tendered tion into Government assailants. On an oath to vote " for the bill" and the address for “ Free Trade," being " the rights of Ireland.” In the spi. carried up by the Commons to the rit of mob law, they attacked the house Castle, (the Viceroy's residence,) the of the Attorney-General; and a party, Dublin volunteers thought proper to determined on making “ assurance line the streets, and present arms to doubly sure," went to the law courts the Speaker and the Ministers as their to put him to death. carriages passed along. Authorizing We turn from these turbulent and this forward folly was the Duke of shortsighted follies, to one of those Leinster, at their head as commander, slight biographical sketches which an honest, but a dull and simple man, form the true grace of the volumes. whose Whig connexions in England The House of Commons, patient while bad lately suffered him to fall into the the Government seemed firm, became hazardous hands of party in Ireland; suddenly impetuous from the moment which finally brought a great deal of when it seemed inclined to yield—a misery on himself and his family, be- capital lesson for Ministers in all ages. trayed his unhappy brother, Lord The yielding Minister always makes Edward Fitzgerald, to an ignominious
a faction where he does not find one, death, and rendered the simple Duke and enlarges it where he does. The powerless for any future good to this vacillation of the Irish Viceroy in. disturbed and harassed country. stantly unhinged the allegiance of all
This interference of the volunteers his placemen, and the Treasury Bench in matters exclusively political, at resounded with the strange echoes of length awoke the Government; but Opposition. The melting courtesies the American war, the restless cla- which had been passing between the mours of Whiggism in England, and Whigs and the Minister were instantthe impossibility of recovering the ly turned into the most rigid patriotdownward step which the Secretary ism; and Cato of Utica, with Plato in had taken, made concession run a race one hand and the sword in the other, with demand. A sort of annual fes- if more sincere, was never more sentival, wbich takes place on the anni. tentious than every puny debater who versary of William the Third's birth. swelled into a patriot, and swore not day, gave an opportunity of further to outlive the liberties of his country. displays. The pedestal of the Pro. If later times had not prepared us for testant King's statue was hung with every absurdity of popular harangue, inscriptions : on one side, “ Relief to nothing could appear more mischie. Ireland,” on another, “ The Volun- vous and more burlesque than the
affected passion which blazed out in (This touch satisfies us from whose this affected phraseology. They had pencil the whole has come ; for inflamed their fancies until the most while Grattan himself was there, extravagant follies figured before them no other man would have ascribed as solid fact. With them, England superior brilliancy to Burgh.) “He was a perpetual oppressor, uniting all was the best calculator of questions. the evil qualities of popular prejudice He knew better than any other man and imperial despotism, an intractable, how to collect the sense of all parties, inexorable compound of mob fury and and to shape a motion that would unite monarchical malice. No man stopped their sentiments. His wit was satiri. to enquire whether those things were cal, without being severe. so; all rushed on, swept down along sessed great knowledge, and was a the same boiling current of rival most powerful member of Parliament; declamation. With them metaphors so much so, that he was termed the were truth, wild rhetoric sound coun. · Cicero of the House.' By his supecil, and the fogs of a bewildered fancy rior art, he steered clear of all personthe light of day; Lord North was Sylla al altercation. In reply he was ex. or Nero, Ireland the Capitol, and the cellent, and he thought on his legs better petty wranglings of factions, squabbling than Daly, When Daly was preabout short and long money bills, su- pared, he would have surpassed Burgh. gar invoices, and flannels, discussions Daly's best speech would have been involving the freedom of mankind. better than Burgh's; but the every
The sense of their victory gave the day speeches of Burgh were better Whigs new insolence, and they went than those of Daly. He had practo the rebel length of “ Stopping the lised much in the courts of law, and Supplies.”
Grattan proposed, we been spoiled in consequence." are thus told, the following short and The origin of this spoiling is odd decisive resolution : “ That at this time enough. The law courts bordered it would be inexpedient to grant new on one of the great thoroughfares of taxes." Well might the Exchequer be the city. This compelled him to voci
beggared," and the army dismantled, ferate, and Grattan tells us that he in such times. Yet this vote he car- brought this with him into the House of ried, by 170 to 47—the Viceroy being Commons.- We must dispute neither thus in the extraordinary minority of the cause nor the effect.
But all our 123. All this, however, is to be ac- impression on the subject, from the counted for by the wavering of his memory of his countrymen whom we Council, in direct imitation of the have seen, was totally of another order. feebleness of the North Cabinet. We We had understood that Burgh's voice now find the Prime Sergeant Burgh was one of his most attractive qualities denouncing the Government that gave as a public speaker ; that it was of a him office, as leaving Ireland in a con- most singular sweetness"; and that in dition of “ smothered war," and by her consequence it had procured for him injustice rousing the volunteers into the name of “ Silver Tongue." anticipated hostility, the crop of ser- Burgh seems to have pushed all his pents' teeth, which was already start- qualities to the extreme. He had a ing up into military supremacy. It is fine figure, and he determined to make true that this speech was followed by it too graceful. Thus he got the name his resignation, of which Grattan after- of an 66 attitudinarian." He was a wards said, in his peculiar style, “ The man of fashion as well as figure; gates of promotion were shut, as he must have been singularly fond of those of glory opened.” The charac- show, when he was in the habit of ter given of his general life is pleasing driving his carriage with six horses and graphic. “Walter Hussey Burgh, and three outriders. The consequence whose conduct was thus conspicuous, was, that though his income was handwas a remarkable personage. He was some, his success at the bar being an ardent lover of his country, and a great, he died poor, and left his faman of incorruptible principles ; an mily to the chances of a public penexcellent speaker, an excellent House sion. On the night when the motion of Commons man ; he was most po- for what was then called “ Irish inlished in his manners, but rather vain. dependence" came on, Grattan having He spoke often, and was perhaps the heard that Burgh's ill health would most brilliant man in the House.” "prevent him from attending, wrote to