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their merit not unfrequently repaid. He ranked high among chess-players, and was constantly and eagerly extending his researches into the science of the game. When secretary of state, he did something to improve his hand by taking lessons, and writing copies like a schoolboy. At the head of his own table, he helped the turbot and the fowls according to the directions of a treatise on carving which lay beside him on the cloth. As soon as he had finally determined to settle in the country, he devoted himself to the art of gardening with a success to which St. Anne's Hill still bears agreeable testimony. He could hold his own at tennis after he was well on in years and of a bulk proportioned to his weight in the balance of political power; and when an admiring spectator asked him how he contrived to return so many of the difficult balls, “It is,” he replied, “because I am a very painstaking man." Whatever hand or mind or tongue found to do, he did it with his might; and he had his reward; for the practice of working at the top of his forces became so much a part of his nature that he was never at a loss when the occasion demanded a sudden and exceptional effort. A young senator, who feels that he has it in him, eagerly asks to be told the secret of eloquence; and veterans can give him no better receipt than the humble advice, whatever he is about, always to do his utmost.' It is said that armies can be disciplined to such a point that the soldier will find the battle-field a relaxation from the hardships and restraints of the drill-ground; and the orator who, when taken unawares, retorts upon his

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? The collection of aphorisms which Mr. Ruskin composed for the instruction of a young Italian painter may be studied with benefit by aspirants in oratory. “Stop,” says Mr. Ruskin, “the moment you feel a difficulty, and your drawing will be the best you can do, but you will not be able to do another so good to-morrow. Put your full strength out the moment you feel a difficulty, and you will spoil your drawing to-day, but you will do better than your to-day's best to-morrow.” The processes of true art are much the same in all its branches. A public speaker may learn more from Herr Klesmer's discourse in “ Daniel Deronda” on the training of a public performer than from twenty professed treatises on rhetoric.

assailant with a shower of sentences so apt that they might each have been coined for the purpose of the moment has purchased his enviable gift by many an hour of unseen and apparently objectless labor, which few among his audience, even with such a prize in prospect, could ever prevail upon themselves to undertake.

In August, 1768, Fox waited upon Voltaire at his villa by the Lake of Geneva. The old man was very gracious, treated his guest to chocolate, and did him the easy favor of pointing out some of his own writings which had a tendency to counteract the influence of religious prejudice. “Voilà," said the patriarch,“ des livres dont il faut se munir." Charles had just then very little attention to spare for theological controversy, even in the enticing guise which it assumes in the “ Ingénu” and the “Philosophical Dictionary.” With his head full of politics, he was proceeding homewards to commence the business of his life. The world in which he found himself on his arrival in England differed so essentially from onr own that it would be a gross injustice to the memory of Fox if I were to plunge into the narrative of his actions without previously describing, to the best of my power, the society in which he moved, the moral atmosphere which he breathed, and the temptations by which he was assailed. Never was there a man whose faults were so largely those of his time; while his eminent merits, and enormous services to the country, were so peculiarly his own. When we compare the state of public life as he entered it and as he left it, and when we reflect how preponderating a share he cheerfully bore in the gigantic labors and sacrifices by which a change for the better was gradually and painfully secured,

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Fox took other opportunities of improving his acquaintance with Voltaire, who acknowledged his next visit in a letter to Lord Holland, the first sentences of which run thus: “Y' son is an English lad, and j an old frenchman. He is healthy, and j sick. Yet j love him with all my heart, not only for his father, but for him self.” On this occasion Voltaire gave Charles a dinner in his "little caban,” where the young man was soon privileged to come and go at will.

we shall confess that, besides his unquestioned title to an affection which, after the lapse of three quarters of a century, is still rather personal than historical, he has a claim to our unstinted gratitude, and to no scanty measure of esteem.

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CIIAPTER III.

London Society at the Time that Fox entered the Great World.-Its

Narrow Limits and Agreeable Character. - Prevalent Dissipation and Frivolity.—The Duke of Grafton.—Rigby.—Lord Weymouth.— Lord Sandwich.--Fox in the Inner Circle of Fashion.-Lord March.Brooks's Club. -- Gaming. -- Extravagance. — Drinking and Gout. George the Third's Temperate and Hardy Habits.-State of Religiou among the Upper Classes.-Political Life in 1768.-Sinecures.- Pensions and Places, English, Irish, and Colonial.-Other Forms of Corruption.—The Venality of Parliament.- Low Morality of Public Men, and Discontent of the Nation.-Office and Opposition.-Fox's Political Teachers.

MORAL considerations apart, no more desirable lot can well be imagined for a human being than that he should be included in the ranks of a highly civilized aristocracy at the culminating moment of its vigor. A society so broad and strongly based that within its own borders it can safely permit absolute liberty of thought and speech; whose members are so numerous that they are able to believe, with some show of reason, that the interests of the State are identical with their own, and at the same time so privileged that they are sure to get the best of everything which is to be had, is a society uniting, as far as those members are concerned, most of the advantages and all the attractions both of a popular and an oligarchical form of government. It is in such societies that existence has been enjoyed most keenly, and that books have been written which communicate a sense of that enjoyment most vividly to posterity. The records of other periods may do more to illustrate the working of political .forces and to clear up the problems of historical science; the literature of other periods may be richer in wealth of thought and nobler in depth of feeling; but a student who loves to dwell upon times when men lived so intensely and wrote so joyously that their past seems to us as our present will never tire of recurring to the Athens of Alcibiades and Aristophanes, the Rome of Mark Antony and Cicero, and the London of Charles Townshend and Horace Walpole. The special charm of the literature produced in communities so constituted is that in those communities, and in those alone, personal allusion, the most effective weapon in the armory of letters, can be employed with a certainty of success. A few thousand people who thought that the world was made for them, and that all outside their own fraternity were unworthy of notice or criticism, bestowed upon each other an amount of attention quite inconceivable to us who count our equals by millions. The actions, the fortunes, and the peculiarities of every one who belonged to the ruling class became matters of such importance to his fellows that satire and gossip were elevated into branches of the highest literary art. Every hit in an Athenian burlesque was recognized on the instant by every individual in an audience which comprised the whole body of free-born citizens. The names and habits of every parasite and informer and legacyhunter within the circuit of the Seven Hills were accurately known to every Roman who had enough spare sesterces to purchase a manuscript of Juvenal. In the eighteenth century, in our own country, the same causes produced the same results; and the flavor of the immortal impertinences which two thousand years before were directed against Pericles and Euripides may be recognized in the letters which, when George the Third was young, were handed about among a knot of men of fashion and family who could never have enough of discussing the characters and ambitions, the incomes and genealogies, the scrapes and the gallantries, of everybody who had admission to the circle within which their lives were passed.

The society pictured in these letters had much the same relation to what is called good society now that the “Boar IIunt" by Velasquez, in the National Gallery, with its groups of stately cavaliers, courteous to each other, and unmindful of all besides, bears to the scene of confused bustle and dubious enjoyment represented in the “Derby Day” of Mr. Frith. So

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