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oratory upon the great bulk of his audience. Many a big drop compounded of heat and patriotism-of tears and of perspiration, stood upon the rude and honest faces that were cast in true Hibernian mould, and were raised towards the glory of Ireland with a mixed expression of wonder and of love. I was far more anxious to detect the feeling produced upon the literary and English portion of the audience. It was most favourable. Mr. Charles Butler, near whom I happened to sit, and whom I should be disposed to account a severe but excellent critic, was greatly struck. He several times expressed his admiration of the powers of the speaker. The applause of such a man is worth that of a" whole theatre of others." Mr. Coke also, whose judgment is, I understand, held in very great estimation, and who has witnessed the noblest displays of parliamentary eloquence, intimated an equally high opinion. Immediately under Mr. O'Connel there was an array, and a very formidable one, of the delegates from the press. They appeared to me to survey Mr. O'Connel with a good deal of supercilious distaste at the opening of his speech, and although some amongst them preserved to the last in their intimations of national disrelish, and shrugged their shoulders at "Irish eloquence," the majority surrendered their prejudices to their good feelings, and ultimately concurred in the loud plaudits with which Mr. O'Connel concluded his oration. It occupied nearly three hours and a half.-Mr. O'Hanlon succeeded Mr. O'Connel. He spoke well, but the auditory were exhausted, and began to break up. Less attention was paid to Mr. O'Hanlon than he would have received at a more opportune moment. The excitation produced by Mr. O'Connel, the lateness of the hour, and the recollections of dinner, were potent impediments to rhetorical effect. Mr. Sheil rose under similar disadvantages. He cast that sort of look about him, which I have witnessed in an actor when he surveys an empty house. The echo produced by the diminution of the crowd drowned his voice, which being naturally of a harsh quality, requires great management, and, in order to produce any oratorical impression, must be kept under the control of art. Mr. Sheil became disheartened, and lost his command over his throat. He grew loud and indistinct. He also fell into the mistake of laying aside his habitual cast of expression and of thought, and in place of endeavouring to excite the feelings of his auditory, wearied them with a laborious detail of uninteresting facts. He failed to produce any considerable impression excepting at the close of his speech, in which, after dwelling upon the great actions which were achieved by the Catholic ancestors of some of the eminent men around him, he introduced Jean of Arc prophesying to Talbot the observation of his illustrious name, and the exclusion of his posterity from the councils of his country. I should not omit to mention the speech delivered by Lord Stourton at this meeting. It was easy to collect from his manner that he was not in the habit of addressing a large assembly, but the sentiments to which he gave utterance were high and manly, and becoming a British nobleman who had been spoliated of his rights. His language was not only elegant and refined, but adorned with imagery of an original cast, derived from those sciences with which his lordship is said to be familiar. Some of the deputies dined with him after the meeting. They were sumptuously entertained.-I had now become more habituated to the
display of patrician magnificence in England, and saw the exhibition of its splendour without surprise. Yet I confess that at Norfolk-house, where the Duke did Mr. O'Connel, Lord Killeen, and others of our deputation the honour to invite them, and in compliment to our cause, brought together an assemblage of men of the highest rank and genius in England, I was dazzled with the splendour and gorgeousness of an entertainment to which I had seen no parallel. Norfolk-house is one of the finest in London. The interior, which is in the style prevalent about eighty years ago in England, realizes the notions which one forms of a palace. It was indeed occupied at one time by some members of the royal family; and the Duke told us that the late King was born in the room in which we dined. We passed through a series of magnificent apartments, rich with crimson and fretted with gold. There was no glare of excessive light in this vast and seemingly endless mansion; and the massive lamps which were suspended from the embossed and gilded ceilings, diffused a shadowed illumination, and left the distance in the dusk. The transition to the great chamber where the company were assembled, and which was glowing with light, presented a brilliant and imposing contrast. Here we found the Duke of Norfolk, surrounded by persons of high distinction. Amongst the company were the Dukes of Sussex, Devonshire, and Leinster, Lord Grey, Lord Fitzwilliam, Lord Shrewsbury, Lord Donoughmore, Lord Stourton, Lord Clifford, Lord Nugent, Lord Arundel, Sir Francis Burdett, Mr. Butler, Mr. Abercrombie, Mr. Blunt, Mr. Denman, and other persons of eminence and fame. The Duke of Norfolk came forward to meet us, and gave us a cordial and cheerful welcome. This amiable nobleman is distinguished by the kindness and goodness of his manners, which bespeak an excellent and unassuming spirit, and through all the political intercourse which we had with him upon the great question, in which he feels so deep an interest, manifested a shrewd sound sense, and a high and intense anxiety for the success of the great cause of religious liberty, from which very beneficial results have already ensued. He has been very instrumental in effecting a junction between the English and Irish Roman Catholics, and has thus conferred a great service upon both. We were received by him with the most gracious and unaffected urbanity. I was struck with the perfect freedom from authoritativeness which characterised most of the eminent men who were placed about me. There is among the petty aristocracy of Ireland infinitely more arrogance of port and look than I observed among the first men of the British empire. Certain of our colonial aristocracy are far more bloated and full-blown with a notion of their own importance. The reason is obvious. The former rest in security upon their unquestionable title to respect. Their dignity fits them like an accustomed garment. But men who are raised but to a small elevation, on which they hold a dubious ground, feel it necessary to impress their consequence upon others by an assumption of superiority which is always offensive, and generally absurd. Lord Fitzwilliam was the person with whom I was disposed to be most pleased. This venerable nobleman carries, with a grey head, a young and fresh heart. He may be called the old Adam of the political world; and England might well exclaim to her faithful servant, in the language of Orlando,
"Oh, good old man, how well in thee appears
It is impossible to look upon this amiable and dignified patrician of
has found that sorrow can unbar the palaces of the great, as well as unlatch the cottages of the lowly. His dear friend and near ally is gone-his party is almost broken. He has survived the death, and, let me add, the virtue of many illustrious men, and looks like the lonely column of the fabric which he sustained so nobly, and which has fallen at last around him. It is not wonderful that he should seem to stand in solitary loftiness, and that melancholy should have given a solemn tinge to his mind. He spoke of the measures intended to be
made collateral to emancipation, and said,
(The conclusion in our next Number.)
THE THOMPSON PAPERS.
MR. THOMPSON having favoured us with another bundle of the letters he has received from various correspondents during the last thirty days, we proceed, agreeably to the promise held out in our March number, to lay them before our readers.
Russell Square, 31st March. Sir,-Having had the pleasure of meeting you last year at a Mansion-house dinner given to a few parliamentary advocates of Catholic emancipation, and about a hundred select friends of the Lord Mayor, of whom I had the honour to be one, (which I dare say you will recollect, as it was I who helped you to the very best part of the haunch of venison) I take the liberty of requesting your interference in the House of Commons to protect this respectable quarter of the metropolis against the sarcasms and lampoons which are daily levelled against it, both in and out of parliament. It has become the fashion to make a dead set against this and the adjoining squares, a sort of unmerited indignity to which we cannot tamely submit. In a recent debate, Mr. Croker spoke sneeringly of our whole vicinity, as if we constituted a terra incognita which might perhaps have been heard of, but which no fashionable people could possibly think of visiting. The author of "Sayings and Doings," although it is currently reported that his father resided for many years in Charlotte-street, Bedford-square, indulges in perpetual taunts against our neighbourhood, and not only talks of a vulgar expression as a "Bloomsburyism," but has lodged his Abberly family, that immortal specimen of a lawyer's wife, and her frugivorous children, in Montague-street, Russell-square. Grimm's Ghost in the New Monthly Magazine rises up every thirty days to twit us with some new ridicule, pretending, forsooth, that any one undertaking a journey to us from the fashionable haunts of London, must necessarily change horses by the way, so that we threaten to be held up as a by-word and a laughing-stock unless some speedy measures be adopted for the assertion of our gentility.
You are therefore, Sir, authorised by me to state, should any member make further attempt to quiz us that there are two aldermen and two knights in our square, besides eight other persons who keep VOL. IX. No. 53.-1825.
carriages, six of whom are said to be worth a plum, and some a good deal more; and if this does not constitute gentility and respectability, I should be glad to know what does. Our square, indeed, has been always reckoned remarkably select, and they who reflect upon the expense of the houses, must be well assured that they can only be tenanted by people of wit, fashion, and elegance. Let us measure purses with those who presume to turn up their noses at us, and I fancy it will be found that we can buy them all out and out.
Surely, Sir, nothing can be more illiberal than these general attacks upon particular localities, a species of loose libel in which no considerate person would indulge. If it were directed against Bedford-row indeed, or Guilford-street, I should not so much object to it, for the former could never be meant for carriage-keeping folks, or they would have made a decent approach to it; and as to Guilford-street, I can speak of my own knowledge to its containing some very low-lived people, for I had great trouble formerly in collecting my rent from a poor barrister (though I was told he was a very clever man,) who was at that time my tenant. I have, however, sold my houses in both these places. In Russell-square I am still owner of two, besides that which I occupy; and Sir Matthew Molasses, the great sugar-baker, who wishes to be as refined as the commodity he sells, has already given me notice that he means to cease being my tenant, as he cannot stand these gibes and jeers so perseveringly directed against the square. Does not this give me a ground of action against our slanderers, who, if they be not checked, will alarmingly deteriorate property in this neighbourhood? Let them come to the square any fine morning in the winter, and when they see the green, crimson, and scarlet velvet pelisses, with ermine muffs and tippets, parading on the inside, and the servants in light blue and orange liveries, with gold shoulder-knots, waiting at the gate, they must be prejudiced indeed if they will not retract their charge of vulgarity against the inhabitants.
You are most earnestly requested, Sir, to protect our interests in parliament, should they be again assailed; and as to any slanders from other quarters, we shall know how to take care of ourselves, for we reckon several lawyers and barristers among the number of the libelled. I am, Sir,
Your most obedient Servant,
P. S. Should any of your friends be in want of the house which Sir Matthew is about to quit, I can let them have it at twenty pounds a year less than he paid, which is dog-cheap, considering the situation.
Lower Grosvenor-street, 6th April.
MY DEAR THOMPSON, Immediately upon our return from the country we took your advice, and went to see poor Tankerville's magnificent collection of shells, on show at Sowerby's in Regent-street, with which both Kitty and Lady
were much delighted. The latter took a fancy to one of the specimens, but was told the lowest price was thirty-five guineas, at which