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law of England, whose
High Steward; but though a most comely personage with a fine voice, his behaviour was mean, curiously searching for occasion to bow to the Minister that is no peer, and consequently applying to the other Ministers, in a manner, for their orders; and not even ready at the ceremonial. To the prisoners he was peevish; and instead of keeping up to the humane dignity of the character it is to point out favour to the criminal, he crossed them, and almost scolded at any offer they made towards defence. I had armed myself with all the resolution I could, with the thought of their crimes and of the danger past, and was assisted by the sight of the Marquis of Lothian in weepers for his son, who fell at Culloden--but the first appearance of the prisoners shocked me! their behaviour melted me! Lord Kilmarnock and Lord Cromartie are both past forty, but look younger. Lord Kilmarnock is tall and slender, with an extreme fine person: his behaviour a most just mixture between dignity and submission; if in anything to be reprehended, a little affected, and his hair too exactly dressed for a man in his situation; but when I say this, it is not to find fault with him, but to show how little fault there was to be found. indifferent figure, appeared much sullen he dropped a few tears the as soon as he got back to his cell. For Lord Balmerino, he is the most natural brave old fellow I ever saw: the highest intrepidity, even to indifference. At the bar he behaved like a soldier and a man; in the intervals of form, with carelessness and humour. He pressed extremely to have his wife, his pretty Peggy, with him in the Tower. Lady Cromartie only sees her husband through the grate, not choosing to be shut up with him, as she thinks she can serve him better by her intercession without. When
Lord Cromartie is an dejected, and rather first day, and swooned
they were to be brought from the Tower in separate coaches, there was some dispute in which the axe must go-old Balmerino cried, 'Come, come, put it with me.' At the bar, he plays with his fingers upon the axe, while he talks to the gentleman-gaoler; and one day somebody coming up to listen, he took the blade and held it like a fan between their faces. During the trial, a little boy was near him, but not tall enough to see; he made room for the child and placed him near himself.
When the Peers were going to vote, Lord Foley withdrew, as too well a wisher; Lord Moray, as nephew of Lord Balmerino-and Lord Stair-as, I believe, uncle to his great grandfather. Lord Windsor, very affectedly, said, 'I am sorry I must say, guilty upon my honour.' Lord Stamford would not answer to the name of Henry, having been christened Harry-what a great way of thinking on such an occasion! I was diverted too with old Norsa, an old Jew that kept a tavern; my brother, as Auditor of the Exchequer, has a gallery along one whole side of the court; I said, 'I really feel for the prisoners!' old Issachar replied, 'Feel for them! pray, if they had succeeded, what would have become of all us?' When my Lady Townshend heard her husband vote, she said, 'I always knew my Lord was guilty, but I never thought he would own it upon his honour.' Lord Balmerino said, that one of his reasons for pleading not guilty, was, that so many ladies might not be disappointed of their show.-Letters and Correspondence.
2. Letter to Sir Horace Mann.
I MUST answer for your brother a paragraph that he showed me in one of your letters: 'Mr. W.'s letters are full of wit; don't they adore him in England?' Not at all—and
I don't wonder at them; for if I have any wit in my letters, which I do not at all take for granted, it is ten to one that I have none out of my letters. A thousand people can write, that cannot talk; and besides, you know (or I conclude so, from the little one hears stirring,) that numbers of the English have wit, who don't care to produce it. Then, as to adoring: you now see only my letters, and you may be sure I take care not to write you word of any of my bad qualities, which other people must see in the gross; and that may be a great hindrance to their adoration. Oh! there are a thousand other reasons I could give you, why I am not the least in fashion. I came over in an ill season: it is a million to one that nobody thinks a declining old Minister's son has wit. At any time, men in opposition have always most; but now, it would be absurd for a courtier to have even common sense. There is not a Mr. Sturt, or a Mr. Stewart, whose names begin but with the first letters of Stanhope, that has not a better chance than I, for being liked. I can assure you, even those of the same party would be fools, not to pretend to think me one. Sir Robert has showed no partiality for me; and do you think they would commend where he does not? even supposing they had no envy, which, by the way, I am far from saying they have not. Then, my dear child, I am the coolest man of my party, and if I am ever warm, it is by contagion; and where violence passes for parts, what will indifference be called? But how could you think of such a question? I don't want money, consequently no old women pay me or my wit; I have a very flimsy constitution, consequently the young women won't taste my wit, and it is a long while before wit makes its own way in the world, especially as I never prove it, by assuring people that I have it by me. Indeed, if I were disposed to brag, I could quote two or three half-pay officers, and an old aunt or two,
who laugh prodigiously at everything I say; but till they are allowed judges, I will not brag of such authorities.
If you have a mind to know who is adored and has wit, there is old Churchill has as much wit as ever-except that he has lost two teeth. There are half a dozen Scotchmen who vote against the Court, and are cried up by the Opposition for wit, to keep them steady. They are forced to cry up their parts, for it would be too barefaced to commend their honesty. Then Mr. Nugent has had a great deal of wit till within this week; but he is so busy and so witty, that even his own party grow tired of him. His plump wife, who talks of nothing else, says he entertained her all the way on the road with repeating his speeches.-Letters and Correspondence.
3. The Autobiography of Lord Herbert.
SOME years ago the following pages would have been reckoned one of the greatest presents which the learned world could have received. The life of the famous Lord Herbert of Cherbury, written by himself, would have excited the curiosity of the whole republic of letters. Perhaps a less proportion of expectation may attend this its late appearance not that the abilities of the noble writer have fallen into disesteem; his reign of Henry VIII. is allowed to be a masterpiece of historic biography; but they were his speculative works, which, raising a multitude of admirers or censors from their acuteness and singularity, made Lord Herbert's name of the first importance. The many great men, who illustrated the succeeding period, have taken off some of the public attention; for it is only a genius of the first force whose fame dilates with ages, and can buoy itself up above the indifference which steals upon mankind, as an
author becomes less and less the subject of conversation. Speculative writers, however penetrating, however sublime their talents, seldom attain the seal of universal approbation, because, of all the various abilities which Providence has bestowed on man, reasoning is not the power which has been brought to standard perfection. Poetry and eloquence have been so far perfected, that the great masters in those branches still remain unequalled; but where is that book of human argumentation, where that system of human opinions, which has not been partly confuted or exploded? Novelty itself in matters of metaphysical inquiry often proves, in effect, a confutation of antecedent novelties. Opponents raise the celebrity of the doctrines they attack: newer doctrines stifle that celebrity. This is a truth which the bigots of Lord Herbert's age would not have liked to hear; but what has happened to many other great men, has been his fate too they who meant to wound his fame, extended it; when the cry of enthusiasts was drawn off to fresher game, his renown grew fainter. His moral character recovered its lustre, but has fewer spectators to gaze at it.
This introduction to his life may not be improper, though at first it may mislead the reader, who will hence perhaps expect from his own pen some account of a person's creed, whom a few zealots once represented as having none at all. His lordship's thorough belief and awful veneration of the Deity will clearly appear in these pages; but neither the unbeliever nor the monk will have farther satisfaction. This life of a philosopher is neither a deduction of his opinions nor a table of philosophy—I will anticipate the reader's surprise, though it shall be but in a word: to his astonishment he will find, that the History of Don Quixote was the Life of Plato.
The noble family, which gives these sheets to the world,