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but be grateful to those who had taken the labour upon them. Mr. Horner established at once the character which is most highly appreciated by the House, that of usefulness. He commanded a deferential hearing for three hours on this intricate subject, and from that day was always listened to with respectful attention. The celebrated Report of the Bullion Committee, of which, it seems, a larger share was attributed to Mr. Horner than really belonged to him, confirmed, out of doors, the favourable impression which his speeches had made upon the House. He now began to reap the reward both of the patient study so long devoted to the science of political economy, which as yet had hardly been brought to bear directly on public affairs; and the modest discretion, by which he had refrained from speaking till a subject arose on which he was a complete master, and in the discussion of which he had but few, and those worthy, competitors. Mr. Horner was not immediately successful in the establishment of his principles. They were opposed by the minister of the day, as unsuited to the peculiar exigencies of the times, and the unnatural state of trade and of credit; but they may be considered, in their main points, to have triumphed in the return to cash-payments after the war, under the auspices of Sir Robert Peel. Our concern, however, is not with the wisdom or expediency of the resolutions urged by Mr. Horner, but the solid and substantial reputation which he acquired by the manner in which he conducted the debates, and the position and influence which from that time he maintained in parliament.

Other matters of not more immediate, yet more stirring, interest were in the mean time arising on all sides. On one of the first occasions (when will be the last?) in which the power of the House of Commons came into collision with the courts of law the case of Sir Francis Burdett—Mr. Horner, in opposition to almost his whole profession and his most intimate friends, especially Sir Samuel Romilly, took the high privilege line. In this course, right or wrong, he showed his independence; nor was he likely to lose ground in the estimation of the House by his forcible, yet not intemperate, assertion of their authority.

The King's illness followed, with all its agitations of hope and fear, the trembling apprehensions of one party, the triumphant anticipations of the other. In one of his letters Mr. Horner mentions a circumstance, which it is impossible to read now without emotion; at the time its effect must have been profound:

• There was a very affecting proof of his melancholy state, given last week at the Concert of Ancient Music: it was the Duke of Cambridge's night, who announced to the directors that the King himself had made the selection. This consisted of all the finest passages to be found in

K 2

Handel,

Handel, descriptive of madness and blindness; particularly those in the opera of Samson; there was one, also, upon madness from love, and the lamentation of Jephthah upon the loss of his daughter; and it closed with God save the King, to make sure the application of all that went before. It was a very melancholy as well as singular instance of sensibility, that in the intervals of reason he should dwell upon the worst circumstances of his situation, and have a sort of indulgence in soliciting the public sympathy.'-vol. ii. p. 88. On the Regency Question he spoke with great power,

and altogether according to the views and interests of his friends. In the contemplated change of ministry, when the negotiations with Lord Grenville were so far advanced as to induce that nobleman to form an outline of a government, Mr. Horner was included as Secretary of the Treasury. Lord Grenville's flattering letter on proposing this arrangement appears; Mr. Horner's reply has been lost. We know that he declined the offer, and another letter hints at, but does not fully explain, his motives. The office would have required the abandonment of his profession, and to his profession alone he could look for independence in station and in fortune. Though the law did not appear likely to reward him with its more splendid dignities or emoluments, he shrunk, with his original sensitiveness, from staking his all on politics. A politician heart and soul, he would not be a political adventurer. His virtue, however, was not long tried; his friends soon lost all hope, not merely of immediate, but of prospective power. In the ensuing parliament (1813) he was not returned at the general election, but, by the intervention of Lord Grenville, to whose grave and statesmanlike mind, of all the rising Whigs, the character of Horner must have been most congenial, he was nominated on the Buckingham interest for St. Mawes. In the sessions of 1813 and 1814 Mr. Horner took a more prominent part in public business; he was now an acknowledged leader of his party, and continued to gain rather than lose ground in the House. În the summer of 1814, as might be expected, he was among the first to avail himself of the sudden opening of the continent. He made the usual tour to Geneva and the north of Italy.

Next year the equability of Mr. Horner's mind was to be tried by a severe ordeal. We can well believe with Mr. Smith, that the pride of official dignity, of power, or of distinction, would not have disturbed the gentle serenity of his character :

Having known him well before he had acquired a great London reputation, I never observed that his fame produced the slightest alteration in his deportment: he was as affable to me and to all his old friends, as when we were debating metaphysics in a garret in Edinburgh. I don't think it was in the power of ermine, or mace, or seals, or lawn, or lace, or of any of those emblems and ornaments with which power

loves to decorate itself, to have destroyed the simplicity of his character. I believe it would have defied all the corrupting appellations of human vanity : Serene, Honourable, Right Honourable, Sacred, Reverend, Right Reverend, Lord High, Earl, Marquis, Lord Mayor, Your Grace, Your Honour, and every other vocable which folly has invented and idolatry cherished, would all have been lavished on him in vain.'

But was he equally proof against the dangers which encompass the prominent member of an English party, the idol of a circle bound together not only by community of social tastes but congeniality in political sentiments? St. Augustine describes himself maddening at the sight of the bloody spectacles of the Roman theatre, till he thought himself mingling in the fray. Engaged himself in the game of politics in the great arena, even Mr. Horner seems to have lost his tranquil self-command. In the great crisis of 1815, the battle of Waterloo alone prevented a complete schism among the leading Whigs. While Lord Grenville urged the necessity of the war with all the early energy of his character, Lord Grey deprecated the haste with which the country determined to keep faith with her continental allies, and to prevent in time the restoration of that French empire which had held Europe in a state of servitude, and England in inevitable war, for so many disastrous years. Mr. Horner sided with Lord Grey; and so irreconcilable appeared the difference, as to lead to an offer of the surrender of his seat, which, however, the Marquess of Buckingham would not at once accept. The correspondence on this subject is honourable to both parties. Even to some of his own most intimate friends Mr. Horner seemed to have been overpowered by that awe, approaching to respect, which the wonderful success of Napoleon excited in so many minds; and his mistrust and low estimation of the Bourbons bordered as close on hatred as his nature would permit. Mr. Horner disclaimed, however, all sympathy with Buonaparte. To Mr. Jeffrey he writes thus :

"You have an idea that I entertain more admiration and less of hate for Buonaparte than you feel : you have given me a hint of this more than once, though I do not know from what you can have collected it. I have no admiration for any military heroes, conceiving it to be the least rare of all the varieties of talent; and I have a constitutional aversion to the whole race of conquerors. I

felt any interest in wars, either reading of them, or looking on in our own days, except on the side of the invaded; and whether they be Greeks or Persians, Russians or French, my wishes have always been in favour of each in their turn, for the success of their defence. You may apply this at the present moment in its fullest force. Buonaparte never had any sympathy or applause from me; besides his belonging to the odious herd of military disturbers of the world, his genius is of so hard a cast, and his

style

never

style so theatrical, and the magnanimity he shows (which cannot be denied him) is so far from being simple, and is so little softened with moral affections, that I never could find in him any of the elements of heroism, according to my taste. Conceive me to hate Buonaparte as you do, but yet to wish (as I do fervently) for a successful resistance by France to the invasion of the Allies, and you are pretty nearly in possession of all my present politics.'—vol. ii. p. 258.

Not merely had Mr. Horner in this case insulated himself, or at best retreated with a small section of his friends upon a narrow and impracticable ground of opinion, but during the two last sessions he had embarked in much more of the restless and harassing warfare of the political partisan, than seemed to accord with his general temperament and previous habits. This many of his best friends had seen with regret. Gentle murmurs of disapprobation -amicable statements of discordant opinions, could not but reach him from many quarters; and unsuppressed apprehensions were not wanting that Mr. Horner was verging away from the more moderate to the more violent section of his party.

Among these friends there was one who had watched his rise from a distance with a most affectionate solicitude; on every turning point of his fortune had advised him with the tenderness of a brother, and the matured good sense of an elder one, though in age he was but one year his senior. About this time that friend addressed a letter to Mr. Horner, which, if ever there be a manual compiled from the wisdom of our most experienced observers, and the high principle of our best writers, for the guidance of men in public life, will find its proper place.

Mr. Hallam has furnished a graceful Memoir of Lord Webb Seymour, from which we glean the following particulars. He was the brother of the present Duke of Somerset. Even at Christ Church the resolute desire of acquiring knowledge, the conscious ness of the slowness of his parts, and, no doubt, the total uncongeniality of his character with the convivial habits and gayer pursuits of the young noblemen in his days, determined him to withdraw from general society :

• During the whole remainder of his stay at Christ Church he was never seen at a wine party. Such a course, whatever in this more studious age may be thought, brought down at that time on his head the imputation of great singularity; but his remarkable urbanity of manners, and the entire absence of affectation, preserved to him the respect and regard of those from whose society he thus seemed to withdraw. The reason which Lord Webb gave for thus sacrificing all convivial intercourse was characteristic of his modesty. He felt, he said, that his parts were slow; that he acquired knowledge with less facility than many of his contemporaries ; and that he could not hope to compass the objects which he had

in view, if he gave up the evening hours, as was then customary, to the pleasures of conversation.

'Lord Webb Seymour was neither a very good scholar, in the common sense of the word, nor by any means the contrary. He knew well, on every subject, what he knew at all, and his character rendered him averse to spread his reading over a large surface. He read slowly and carefully, possibly too much so; but as on this account he forgot little, he was by this means uninformed on many subjects of general literature. But his peculiar quality was the love of truth, and, as is perhaps the case with all true lovers, he loved that mistress the more in proportion as she was slow in favouring his suit. It was said of him that he would rather get at any thing by the longest process; and, in fact, not having a quick intuition, and well knowing that those who decide instantly are apt not to understand what they decide, he felt a reluctance to acquiesce in what the world call a common-sense view of any philosophical question.'-vol. i. p. 474.

We have seen that Lord Webb, during his residence in Edinburgh, was Horner's most intimate associate. Both ardent in their cultivation of natural philosophy, and deep in metaphysical inquiry, they read Bacon together, and compared their notes on every branch of study. The slowness of Lord Webb’s mind, no doubt, gave greater depth and accuracy to Mr. Horner's researches, while Mr. Horner's greater activity stimulated and quickened that of Lord Webb.

His lordship stood aloof from public affairs; his natural reserve, connected, no doubt, with the secret admonitions of a constitution prescient of early decay, induced him to prefer the recluse life of a philosopher. He settled early on a small estate which he had purchased on the Clyde, near Dumbarton. He compelled himself, however, on the alarm of invasion, to undertake the duties of an active citizen. He took the command of a body of volunteers, raised on and near the Somerset property in Devonshire, and while in discharge of that office, resided at Torquay. In the intervals of his more warlike occupation, he enjoyed the scenery, then almost unknown, of that beautiful district, and pursued his geological studies. When his mission was fulfilled, he retired again to Scotland, where the fatal malady, which had possession of his constitution, first showed itself in long, debilitating languor, and finally closed his life at the age of 42. Mr. Hallam says:

* It would be doing the utmost injustice to the memory of this most lamented person, were I only to dwell on his intellectual character, or even on those qualities which have been already mentioned-his love of truth and desire of improvement. Not only was Lord Webb Seymour a man of the most untainted honour and scrupulous integrity, but of the greatest benevolence and the warmest attachment to his friends. This was displayed in a constant solicitude for their success, their fame, their

improvement;

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