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upon this 'vantage ground; from which I had an opportunity of observing the orators of the night. We found a considerable array in the house, and attracted universal observation. In the front of our body was Mr. O'Connel, upon whom every eye was fixed. He affected a perfect carelessness of manner; but it was easy to perceive that he was full of restlessness and inquietude under an icy surface. I saw the current eddying beneath. Next him was Mr. O'Gorman, who carried a most official look as secretary to the Catholies of all Ireland, and seemed to realize the beau-ideal of Irish self-possession. (I should observe by the way, that Mr. O'Gorman was of great use in London in controlling that spirit of disputation among the deputies to which Irishmen are habitually prone, and which it required the perfect goodhumour and excellent disposition of the learned functionary to assuage.) The house began to fill about eight o'clock. The aspect of the members was not in general very imposing. Few were in full dress, and there was little, in the general demeanour of the representatives of the people, which was calculated to raise them in my reverence. This absence, or rather studious neglect of ceremony, is, perhaps, befitting an assembly of the "citizens and burgesses in parliament assembled." I remarked that some of the members were distinguished for their spirit of locomotion. The description of "the Falmouth-the heavy Falmouth coach," given by a jocular secretary of state, had prepared me to expect in a noble Lord a more sedentary habit of body; but he displayed a perfect incapacity to stay still, and was perpetually traversing the house, as if he wished, by the levity of his trip and the jauntiness of his movements, to furnish a practical reputation of ministerial merriment. After some matters of form had been disposed of, Mr. Brougham rose to move, on behalf of the Association, that counsel should be heard at the bar of the house. I had seen Mr. Brougham several years before, and immediately observed a great improvement in his accomplishments as a public speaker. Nature has not, perhaps, been very favourable to this very eminent man in his merely physical configuration. His person is tall, but not compact or well put together. There is a looseness of limb about him, which takes away from that stability of attitude which indicates the fixedness of the mind. His chest is narrow-he wants that bulk which gives Plunket an Atlantean massiveness of form, mentioned by Milton as the property of a great statesman. The countenance of Mr. Brougham wants symmetry and refinement. His features are strong, but rather wide.— He has a Caledonian prominence of bone. His complexion indicates his intellectual habits-and is "sicklied o'er by the pale cast of thought.” It seems smoked by the midnight lamp. His eyes are deeply sunk, but full at once of intensity and meditation. His voice is good-it is clear, articulate, and has sufficient melody and depth. He has the power of raising it to a very high key, without harshness or discord, and when he becomes impassioned, he is neither hoarse nor shrill. Such is the outward man; and if he has defects, they are not so numerous or so glaring as those over which the greatest orator of antiquity obtained a victory. In his ideal picture of a public speaker, Homer represents the most accomplished artificer of words as a person with few if any personal attractions. The characteristics of Brougham's oratory are vigour and passion. He alternates with great felicity. He possesses

in a high degree the art of easy transition from impetuosity to demonstration. His blood does not become so over-heated, as to render it a matter of difficulty for him to retur to the tone and language of familiar discourse the prevalent tone and language of the House of Commons. A man who cannot rise beyond it, will never make a great figure; but whoever cannot habitually employ it, will be accounted a declaimer, and will fall out of parliamentary favour. Mr. Brougham's gesture is at once senatorial and forensic. He uses his arms like an orator, and his hands like a lawyer. He employs great sweep of action, and describes segments of circles in his impassioned movements; here he forgets his forensic habitudes: but when he is either sneering or sophisticating, he closes his hands together with a somewhat pragmatical air, or uniting the points of his fore fingers, and lifting them to a level with his chair, embodies in his attitude the minute spirit of Nisi Prius. If he did this and nothing else, he would hold no higher place than the eterna! Mr. Wetherall in the house.— But what, taken apart, may appear an imperfection, brings out the nobler attributes of his mind, and by the contrast which it presents, raises his better faculties into relief. Of the variety, nay vastness of his acquirements it is unnecessary to say any thing:-he is a kind of ambulatory encyclopedia, and brings his learning to bear upon every topic on which he speaks. His diction is highly enriched, or, if I may so say, embossed with figures executed after the pure classical model; yet there are not perhaps any isolated passages which are calculated to keep a permanent residence in the recollection of his hearers. He does not venture like Plunket into the loftiest regions of eloquence; he does not wing his flight among those towering elevations which are, perhaps, as barren as they are high; but he holds on with steady continuity in a very exalted course, and never goes out of sight. His bursts of honest vehemence, and indignant moral reprobation, are very fine. He furnished, upon the night on which I heard him, an admirable exemplification of this commanding power. I allude to his reply to Mr. Peel upon the charges made against Hamilton Rowan. The Secretary for the Home Department is said to have delivered upon this occasion one of the best speeches which he ever pronounced in parliament. I own that he greatly surpassed my expectations. I was prepared from the perusal of his speeches, and the character which I had heard of him, for a display of frigid ingenuity, delivered with a dapper neatness and an ironical conceit. I heard the late Mr. Curran say, that "Peel was a mere official Jack-an-apes," and had built my conceptions of him upon a phrase which, valueless as it may appear, remained in my memory. But I was disabused of this erroneous impression by his philippic against the Association. I do not mean to say that Mr. Peel has not a good deal of elaborate self-sufficiency. He is perpetually indulging in encomiums upon his own manliness and candour-and certainly there is much frankness in his voice and bearing-but any man who observes the expedients with which he endeavours to effect his escape from the grasp of some powerful opponent, will be convinced that there is a good deal of lubricity about him. He constantly advances arguments of the fallacy of which he cannot fail to be conscious, and which would be a burlesque upon reasoning if they were not uttered from the Treasury Bench. As a speaker, he should

VOL. IX. No. 53.-1825.

55

not be placed near Brougham, or Canning, or Plunket, although he rises far beyond that mediocrity to which in Ireland we are in the habit of condemning him. His language is not powerful, but it is perfectly clear, and uniformly correct. I observed indeed that his sentences were much more compact and unbroken, and their several parts better linked together than those of Mr. Brougham; but the one evolves his thoughts in a lengthened and winding chain, while the other (having a due fear of the parenthetical before his eyes) presents an obvious idea in a brief and simple form, and never ventures to frame any massive or extended series of phrase. His gesture is, generally speaking, exceedingly appropriate, and if I found any fault with it, I should censure it for its minute adherence to grace. His hands are remarkably white and well formed, and are exhibited with an ostentatious care. He stands erect, and, to use a technical expression employed by French dancers, "a-plomb." This firmness of attitude gives him that appearance of determination, which is wanting perhaps in Mr. Brougham. I do not like his physiognomy as an orator. He has a handsome face, but it is suffused with a smile of sleek self-complacency, which it is impossible to witness without distaste. He has also a trick of closing his eyes, which may arise from their weakness, but which has something mental in its expression; and however innocent he may be of all offensive purpose, is indicative of superciliousness and contempt. I doubt not he found it of use in Ireland among the menials of authority, and acquired this habit at the Castle. In one, the best passage in his speech, and I believe the best he ever uttered, he divested himself of those defects. Upon the moral propriety of his attack upon Hamilton Rowan it is unnecessary to say any thing. The misfortunes of that excellent gentleman ought not to have been pressed into the service. After every political convulsion, a Lethe should be permitted to flow upon the public mind, and a sin of thirty years' standing ought not only to be pardoned but forgotten. Mr. Peel, however, could not resist the temptation of dragging upon the stage a man whose white hair should hide every imperfection upon his head.* Laying aside all consideration of the generosity evinced by Mr. Peel in the selection of the topic, it must be acknowledged that he pronounced his invective with great and very successful force. He became heated with victory, and, cheered as he was repeatedly by his multitudinous partisans, turned suddenly towards the part of the house where the deputies were seated, and looking triumphantly at Mr. O'Connel, with whom he forgot moment that he had been once involved in a personal quarrel, shook his hand with scornful exultation, and asked whether the house required any better evidence than the address of the Association to "an attainted traitor." The phrase was well uttered, and the effect as a piece of oratory was great and powerful. But for the want of moral dignity I should say that it was very finely executed. We hung down our heads for a moment and quailed, under the consciousness of defeat. But it was only temporary. Mr. Brougham was supplied with various facts of great importance on the instant, and inflicted upon Mr. Peel a

*I had intended to introduce a sketch of Mr. Rowan's character into this article, but found that I could not compress it within its appropriate limits. The reader will find it appended in a separate article.

terrible retribution. His reply to the minister was, I understand, as effective as his celebrated retort upon the Queen's letters. He shewed that the government had extended to Mr. Rowan conspicuous marks of favour, and reproached Mr. Peel with his want of nobleness in opening a wound which had been so long closed, and in turning the disasters of an honourable man into a rhetorical resource. He got hold of the good feeling of the house. Their virtuous emotions, and those high in stincts which even the spirit of party cannot entirely suppress, were at once marshalled upon his side. Conscious of his advantage, he rushed upon his antagonist, and hurled him to the ground. He displayed upon this occasion the noblest qualities of his eloquence-fierce sarcasm, indignant remonstrance, exalted sentiment, and glowing elocution. He brought his erudition to his aid, and illustrated his defence by a quotation from Cicero, in which the Roman extenuates the faults of those who were engaged on Pompey's side. The passage was exceedingly apposite, but was delivered perhaps with too dolorous and lacrymatory a note. A man should scarcely weep over a quotation. But altogether the reply was magnificent, and made the minister bite the dust. With this comfortable reflection we left the house.

It is not, of course, my intention to detail every circumstance of an interesting kind which occurred in the course of this political excursion. From a crowd of materials, I select what is most deserving of mention. I should not omit the mention of a dinner given to the deputies by Mr. Brougham. He invited us to his house upon the Saturday after our arrival, and gave the Irish embassy a very splendid entertainment. Soine of the first men in England were of the party. There were four Dukes at table. I had never witnessed an assemblage of so much rank, and surveyed with intense curiosity the distinguished host and his illustrious guests. It is unnecessary to observe, that Mr. Brougham went through the routine of convivial form with dignified facility and grace. It was to his mind that I directed my chief attention, with a view to compare him in his hours of relaxation, with the men of eminence with whom I had conversed in my own country. The first circumstance that struck me, was the entire absence of effort, and the indifference about display. I perceived that he stretched his faculties out, after the exhaustion of professional and parliamentary labour, in a careless listlessness; and, if I may so say, threw his mind upon a couch. Curran, Grattan, and Bushe, were the best talkers I had ever witnessed. The first (and I heard a person make the same remark in London) was certainly the most eloquent man whose conversation I ever had an opportunity of enjoying. But his serious reflections bore the character of harangue, and his wit, with all its brilliancy, verged a little upon farce. He was so fond indeed of introducing dialogue into his stories, that at times his conversation assumed the aspect of a dramatic exhibition. There was, perhaps, too much tension of the intellect in those masterpieces of mirth and pathos, in which he appeared to be under the alternate influence of Momus and of Apollo. The conversation of Mr. Grattan was not of an after-dinner cast. have walked with him among the woods of Tinnahinch, and listened to his recollections of a better day by the sound of the lulling and romantic waters of those enchanting groves, in which, it is said, he studied the arts of elocution in his youth, and through which he de

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lighted to wander in the illuminated sunset of his glorious age. It was necessary that his faculties should be thrown into a swing before they could come into full play. He poured out fine sentiments in glittering epigrams. His mind became antithetical from continued habit, but it was necessary that it should be thrown into excitement to bring it into action. It was in sketches of character that he excelled; but you should give him time and leisure for the completion of his miniatures. Bushe

.... But I am deviating from my theme. To return to Mr. Brougham, he is, perhaps, more negligent and heedless of what he says, than any of these eminent persons to whom I have alluded, and flings his opinions into phrase without caring into what shape they may be moulded. I remember to have read an article in the Edinburgh Review, upon Curran's life, that eminent men in England never make any effort to shine in conversation; and I saw an illustration of the remark at Mr. Brougham's table. He did not tell a single story-except indeed, that he mentioned a practical joke which had been played upon Joseph Hume, who takes things "au pic de la lettre," by passing some strange uncouth person upon him as Mr. O'Connel. The latter sat between the Dukes of Devonshire and Leinster. It was the place of honour, and the learned gentleman filled it without airs or affectation. In all his intercourse with the great in London, I remarked that he comported himself in a manner perfectly becoming his character and station in his own country. I was glad to find that, unlike Sir Pertinax, "he could stand straight in the presence of a great man." The attention of the company was very much fixed upon him. But he spoke little. I remember Mr. Moore telling me an anecdote of Mrs. Siddons, which is not unillustrative of the scene. A large party were invited to meet her. She remained silent, as is her wont, and disappointed the expectations of the whole company, who watched for every syllable that should escape her lips. At length, however, being asked if she would have some Burton ale, she replied with a sepulchral intonation, that "she liked ale vastly." To this interesting remark the display of her intellectual powers was confined. I do not think that Mr. O'Connel upon this occasion gave utterance to any more profound or sagacious observation. Nearly opposite to him sat Sir Francis Burdett and Mr. Lambton. The latter seemed to me to watch Mr. O'Connel with a very unremitting vigilance. He hardly spoke himself. His air is foreign-he is full of intelligence, and looks like a picture by Murillo of a young Spanish Jesuit who had just completed his noviciate. At the other end of the table sat the celebrated Mr. Scarlet, who is at English Nisi Pruis Facile Princeps. I thought I could perceive the wile of a lawyer in his watchful and searching eye

"He is a great observer, and he looks
Quite through the thoughts of men."

His smile, too, was perhaps a little like that of Cassius. He said little -altogether there was not as much alertness in the dialogue as in the champaigne. The Duke of Sussex seemed to me the only person who exhibited much hilarity of spirit. There is a good deal of buoyancy in

* I remember mentioning this anecdote to the late Mr. Maturin, who said, "The voice of Mrs. Siddons, like St. Paul's bell, should never toll except for the death of kings."

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