Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

“ Maitland,” as my father baptized him at school. These moral Scotchmen make a shrewd guess as to the locality of Exchequer Bills and good securities.

3.---Řeceived a copy of Lady Foley's novel, “ Almack's.” I am sure very stupid. I am d d if I try. She is an age (nearly, if not all out, 10 years) behind the fashion; her book therefore can be valuable only to the Society of Antiquaries. I, however, must get somebody to read it, as I am to have some good shooting at Foley's next week. Leinster tells me he is also going. Euston wants me to bet on Jem Ward. Ward is a prime bit of flesh, but not to be depended upon. Tom Cribb, besides, says there is nothing manly and fair going on now in the ring---all crosses. I would back Ward .--I have seen him spar with Berkeley--- I will venture 1001. upon him.

Maberley gave Alderman Waithman a great shaking last night. Waithman seems to be ro handled on both sides; fights without backer or bottle-holder: does not seem to want pluck so much as training. He is the beau ideal of a shop-keeper (not a cockney) M.P. Heygate is the cockney M.P.---pert, mincing, presuming, and obse. quious. It is plain that it is resolved Brogden is to be rescued from the hands of the “ lean and unwashed artificer.” It is short policy in Brogden not to refund the 10471., his share of the spoil; for he will be apt to lose a place of 2000l. a-year for it. He may not have been privy to the fraud; but now that the fraud is evident, and that he admits he could be only entitled to the money, from the sale of shares he never paid even deposit upon, and never ordered to be sold, he ought at once to refund, and let it be a drawn bet. Sir W. Congreve seems to have been playing his cards to some purpose-25001, is his share. Waithman, it seems, is a countryman of theirs--all from the terra levis, as Camden calls Wales---meaning thereby the land of Levi. A good pun that, worth delivery. [Mem. to deliver it the first convenient extempore opportunity.] I felt for Waithman : it is a must painful situation to fill---that of bringing a charge of dishonesty against a member of the House, unbacked by friends, and unsupported by influence of birth or station; the more so, if he persuaded himself he is acting from, a sense of moral honor and public duty. No cheers, no countenance; every thing chilling and mortifying. Waithman is not perhaps wanting in pluck, information, bronze, or words; but he wants manner, tact, and above either, the urbane deportment of a gentleman, in the pure and best sense of the word. I never saw a man have so much of what Leveson Gower calls Kleinstadtigkeitishness, or countrytownishness, of manner. He cannot walk apparently with case to himself; and when he rises, he seems bewildered from the incumbrance of his hands; and to mend the matter, he does not speak from a seat as every body else does, but from the fissure passage to them. In Augustus Berkeley's slang, he is a most lamentably unhappy man. Talking of Gower--I see the Marchioness of Stafford has succeeded in procuring the second peerage for the family. Lady Grosvenor being the mother of two earls, annoyed her beyond measure: the more so, as the King refused

a dukedom at the instigation of that clever woman, the Marchioness of Conyngham, My aunt L. has volumes of anecdotes of their intriguing for titles. Belgrave warmly contradicted to me a report ripe at Brookes's---that his father offered his family support to Lord Liverpool for a inarquisite, and the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland. He justly remarked on the folly of the application, as His Majesty could never forget Lord Grosvenor's saying, “ that if he were Arch“ bishop of Canterbury, he would have Aung the Bible in the King's “ face for asking him to expunge the Queen's name from the Liturgy.' I am attached to Leveson Ġower, as well for his intellect, as for bis relationship to the Stanley family. When I left hinı at Paris, he was cherishing a most formidable pair of whiskers, and writing sonnets to his wife and her parrot. The worst of himn is, that nothing goes down with him but Faust and Goëthe.

5.---Said a good thing last night at that notorious blue stocking's, Lady D. After a great deal of opera chat, the conversation turned on Talma. I maintained that his style was stiff, when not ranting--always unnatural; and that he was only effective in half lines and abrupt transitions. Clanricarde said he was of the Roman, Euston of the Grecian, school. I replied that he was of neither; that he was hereditarily of the Tuscan, as his father and grandfather were dentists. Great laughing (Clanricarde seems freited by that dd gambling transaction. I scarcely pity him; he had always a hankering after low company, and this may cure him. Mr. Canning has not seen him since *.) By the way, he humbugged Lady D. in very good style--that is, I believe he was humbugging. She was talking of the wonderful effects of music in wild beasts and fishes, and of instincts, and other such subjects, which furnish the lovers of the marvellous with divers anecdotes-not one of which I believe; when Clanricarde told her, and appealed to Leinster, another wag, for the truth of his story,—that he usually catches trout and pike by merely smearing his hands with marjoram and other strong scented substances, and immersing them in the water; for, that the fishes are so intoxicated with the delight of the smell, that they are unable to swim away, and are taken in handfuls. The young ladies of both. sexes listened with wonder and delight; and Lady D. said she readily credited the story, for that Pliny, in his fourth and fifth books, and Aristotle, in the second of his Natural History, tell us, that the sense of smell to certain species of fish is so powerful an inlet of pleasure, as to prove fatal to them from its very perfection—in the manner told by Clapricarde !! I could with great difficulty refrain from laughing in her face---the more so, as Devonshire's St. Petersburgh friend, Rus verum et barbarum, received it all for gospel. I asked Lady C. M., an out and out Cerulean, how she liked our Russian friend ?

Hugely!” (a neat phrase for a spinster): “there is a hyperborean desultoriousness of manner, that at once testifies the ardour of bis “ mind, and that his birth is gentilitious.” Match me that speech in

* It is perhaps unnecessary to remind the reader, that the noble Marquis has since cleared his character, seen Mr. Canning, and been presented to the King.

I was

the House. I asked her how her friend the duke, and the banker's widow, were going on? “I can neither,” said she, answer your “ questions positively in the affirmative or negative. For there is a

mysterieux patelinage on the part of the female belligerent that

perfectly baffles my penetration. It reminds me, indeed, of a scene “ in Plautus, or rather of a passage in Calderon, where most fortunately relieved by Lady D., else would have been cured for life of all tendency to make impertinent questions. Before my bath,“ did” the Park for an hour, as Theodore Hook has it. By the way, nothing shews his vulgarity so much as his frequent mention of our usages. Made a very good pun on Hope's gate; Ashley says the best I ever made. He was asking Liddell, Howick, and Captain Fitzgerald what motive Hope could have to laying out 30,0001. in building a gate for the public? I replied, that was his way of propagating his name, I dont believe Hope wrote that clever book, Anastasius. Why, if he did, has he not written another? I am sure the author is dead; and would not be surprised if the first report of authorship (Byron's) was, after all, the true one. Mem. Forgot to drop card at Fife House, or to give John, Stanhope's pamphlet.

7.-Peel should never wear a black cravat, his features are not aristocratic; and it gives him the look of one of his father's cotton spioners. Met Lauderdale with my Lord Wharncliffe: his hands were so dirty that I felt great reluctance in touching them. Why does he not wear gloves, and get a decent coat? I wonder Mrs. Coutts lets him come near her. Am glad to see my hint has made Henry Grattan somewhat modest: his brother James is a well-meaning good fellow. Betted with Turnpike Lowther one hundred to ninety to beat him with Merlin to Richmond, and give him four minutes law: Fitzroy Somerset to be umpire. Lord Palmerston, an affected conceited creature, has given the coup de grace to Hume's reputation. Did ever any man receive such an insult, and bear it so' meekly? I solemnly declare I felt for Hume, or rather for humanity, to see it so humbled; not a soul to interfere, not a single “ hear” when he replied; the more remarkable as contrasted with the cheers for almost every word uttered by Palmerston, who really would be less than nobody but for his office. The Greeks have had ample revenge as far as poor Joey is concerned. I gave old Tierney a seat in my cab up from the House, and expressed to him my sympathy with Hume's feelings. “ Your benevolence,” he replied " is more creditable than “ called for. Did Hume feel for himself, I would have felt and inter“posed-as it is, I am glad I was not in the House. It has been " said that I am jealous of Hume: jealous of what? Ask your father “ of the battles I have fought, and the victories I have won, in that

House, from men, too, whose very name is sufficient to make the “ humblest of their followers respectable. On this score, I might talk “ for hours with the garrulity, if not the honied eloquence, of old “ Nestor in the Iliad; but fuimus Troes, and, alas! fuit Ilium, and I “ alone remain. I have been reproached for cunning by your friend

Tilney Long Wellesley;---cunning! cunning! good heavens, is it

[ocr errors]

66

cunning to remain out of office---from honorable adberence to the “principles which have guided my public life, and from still adhering “ to a party who treated me, as an individual, with base ingratitude? " What did they do when they got into power in 1806?_Made the “ present Marquis of Lansdowne, then Lord Henry Petty, Chancellor “ of the Exchequer; an office which my peculiar studies peculiarly “ fitted me for. What did I do when Lord Henry was turned into

ridicule, and his gross ignorance of finance exposed by a man is

as shallow as himself, Lord Castlereagh, who, with Lord Hawkes“ bury, now Liverpool, offered me the place on their return to uffice “if I joined them then? Why, I stood up and rebutted all objections, “and convinced, by argument, the House of the soundness of Petty's “ propositions-was this cunning? If it were, I boast of it; and advise

you to imitate it. I will say nothing now of Sheridan: he is dead; “ and let those imitate his virtues, who never can have a millionth

part of his temptations to error. As to Canning and Castlereagh, I assure you Canning's biographer can make out a better case than “ is generally believed. Wellesley is completely out as to Castle

reagh's character: Castlereagh was a cunning man whenever his

bullying did not carry him through; his whole system of govern“ment in Ireland was a deep diabolically cunning scheme of Machia“ vellian politics. Wellesley's letters, nevertheless, do him credit; “and show hiın fit to have the management of his children. He is

somewhat, indeed, of a Nimrod in education, but that is a good

gentlemanly fault. But I have wandered from Hume; a most useful man as long as he confines himself to the calibre of his “ intellect; but a most mischievous, one when he attempts to rise " above the natural mediocrity of his character. He appears destitute " of the finer feelings of society, else he could not so often be “ forgetful of what he owed to his own character, and to that of the “ House. He has now but little chance of being honored either with " the detestation of his enemies, or the esteem of his friends, or even “ with the pity of either. Did he hearken 'to the suggestions of “ prudence, he would, therefore, confine his future efforts to subjects "commensurate with his power.” I was really affected by Tierney's manner: he is an old friend of my father; and a man whom he justly considers as the possessor of the finest official intellect in either House of Parliament.

9.---What makes Alexander Baring so affected in his manner and language? He makes himself, notwithstanding his sense, infor.' mation, and wealth, absolutely contemptible. Only to think of the head of the British Merchants aping the manners of a “ carpet “ knight,” lisping his sentences, and hemming out every syllable! This is doing the amiable aristocrat with a vengeance.

As he is a great loan contractor, I would advise him to contract a loan of Mr. Huskisson's manliness of tone, and decision of manner: it will gieatly improve him.-Great bruiting at Brookes's of war with Spain.

11.---Brookes's full about the King's Message. General expectation of a general war: I think they are premature: no fight at

present; Spain will cross and recross, and wont come to the scratch, as Tom Cribb says. Spring Rice got a hint from Canning not to touch the treaty of Limerick to-night. Hear saltpetre rose 50 per cent., and consols fell 6. Think Canning is bamboozled by Villele and Co.: he is still gouty. Lord Liverpool not able to leave his room. Mem. To set off to Lord Foley's on Wednesday. Expect good sport.

12.-Every body talking about war and Mr. Canning: the effect, the sensation, of his splendid speech is tremendous. The very suddenness of the business has aggravated the general ardour-Canning waited for the moment to strike, and then struck home like Fabius in Ennius,

“ Non ponebat enim rumores ante salutem," but waited for fact, and then came down armed with the consciousness of strength and moral indignation. It was an epoch in a man's life to have heard him ; it reconciles me to the loss of several days hard running. Heavens! he surpassed even himself! the chaste elegance, the graceful simplicity, the harmonious tones of his opening speech; and the sublime energy of his reply, will haunt me to my grave. What a burst of feeling when he spoke of the Portuguese charter! “May God prosper that attempt at the extension of consti“ tutional liberty; and may the nation to which it is extended, prove “ as fit to receive and cherish it, as she is to discharge her other duties “ among the nations of Europe. I shall never forget the deep, moral earnestness of his tone : and the blaze of glory that seemed to light up his features. He was equally grand when, in his reply, he said, “I do not believe that there is that Spain of which our aucestors were “ so justly jealous, that Spain upon whose territories it was proudly « boasted that the sun never set.” But when in the style and manner of Chatham he said, I looked to Spain in the Indies, I called a new " world into existence to redress the balance of the old,” the effect was actually terrific. It was as if every man in the House had been electrified. Tierney, who before that was shifting in his seat, and taking off his hat and putting it on again, taking large and frequent pinches of snuff, and turning from side to side, till he, I suppose, wore his breeches through, seemed petrified, and sat fixed, and staring with his mouth open for half a minute. Mr. Canning seemed actually to have increased in stature, his attitude was so majestic; I remarked his flourishes were made with the left arm; the effect was new and beautiful; his chest heaved and expanded-his nostril dilatedma noble pride slightly curled his lip; and age and sickness were dissolved, and forgotten in the ardor of youthful genius; all the while a serenity sat on his brow, that pointed to deeds of glory. It reminded and came up to what I've heard of the effects of Athenian eloquence. That Hume to be so mad-so insensible—as to propose an amendment at such a time, to an inflamed, infuriated, glowing assembly. Even the reiterated laughter he occasioned, did not atone for his folly; the very people in the gallery-reporters and all, disguised their contempt for him as little as their admiration of Mr. Canning. It was a glorious night. VOL. II.

2 E

« PředchozíPokračovat »