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mind, and pronounced a warm and discerning eulogium on the Marquess's brother Arthur. »I never«, he said, »met with any military man with whom it was so satisfactory to converse«. The excitement and exertion of this interview were too much for the sick man. He fainted away; and Lord Wellesley left the house, convinced that the close was fast approaching
And now members of Parliament were fast coming up to London. The chiefs of the opposition met for the purpose of considering the course to be taken on the first day of the session. It was easy to guess what would be the language of the King's speech, and of the address which would be moved in answer to that speech. An amendment condemning the policy of the government had been prepared, and was to have been proposed in the House of Commons by Lord Henry Petty. He was unwilling, however, to come forward as the accuser of one who was incapable of defending him
Lord Grenville, who had been informed of Pitt's state by Lord Wellesley, and had been deeply affected by it, earnestly recommended forbearance; and Fox, with characteristic generosity and good nature, gave his voice against attacking his now helpless rival. » Sunt lacryniæ rerum«, he said, >et mentem mortalia tangunt. On the first day, therefore, there was no debate. It was rumoured that evening that Pitt was better. But on the following morning his physicians pronounced that there were no hopes. The commanding faculties of which he had been too proud were beginning to fail. His old tutor and friend, the Bishop of Lincoln, informed him of his danger, and gave such religious advice and consolation as a confused and obscured mind could receive. Stories were told of devout sentiments fervently uttered by the dying man. But these stories found no credit with anybody who knew him. Wilberforce pronounced it impossible that they could be true; »Pitt«, he added, »was a man who always said less than he thought on such topics«. It was asserted in many after. dinner speeches, Grub Street elegies, and academic prize poems and prize declamations, that the great minister died exclaiming, » Oh my country!« This is a fable; but it is true that the last words which he uttered, while he knew what he said, were broken exclamations about the alarming state of public affairs. He ceased to breathe on the morning of the 23d of January 1806, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the day on which he first took his seat in Parliament. He was in his forty-seventh year, and had been, during near nineteen years, First Lord of the
Treasury, and undisputed chief of the administration. Since parliamentary government was established in England, no Eng. lish statesman has held supreme power so long. Walpole, it is true, was First Lord of the Treasury during more than twenty years; but it was not till Walpole had been some time First Lord of the Treasury that he could be properly called Prime Minister.
4. PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKING.
(From Essay on: »Gladstone on Church and State«.)
There is little danger that people engaged in the conflicts of active life will be too much addicted to general speculation The opposite vice is that which most easily besets them. A politician must often talk and act before he has thought and read. He may be very ill-informed respecting a question; all his notions about it may be vague and inaccurate; but speak he must; and if he is a man of ability, of tact, and of intrepidity, he soon finds that, even under such circumstances, it is possible to speak successfully. He finds that there is a great difference between the effect of written words, which are perused and reperused in the stillness of the closet, and the effect of spoken words which, set off by the graces of utterance and gesture, vibrate for a single moment on the ear. He finds that he may blunder without much chance of being detected, that he may reason sophistically, and escape unrefuted. He finds that, even on knotty questions of trade and legislation, he can, without reading ten pages, or thinking ten minutes, draw forth loud plaudits, and sit down with the credit of having made an excellent speech. Lysias, says Plutarch, wrote a defence for a man who was to be tried before one of the Athenian tribunals. Long before the defendant had learned the speech by heart, he became so much dissatisfied with it that he went in great distress to the author. »I was delighted with your speech the first time I read it; but I liked it less the second time, and still less the third time; and now it seems to me to be no defence at all«. »My good friend«, said Lysias, » you quite forget that the judges are to hear it only once«. The case is the same in the English parliament. It would be as idle in an orator to waste deep meditation and long research on his speeches, as it would be in the manager of a theatre to adorn all the crowd of courtiers and ladies who cross over the stage in a procession with real pearls and diamonds. It is not by accuracy or profundity that men become the masters of great assemblies. And why be at the charge of providing logic of the best quality, when a very inferior article will be equally acceptable? Why go as deep into a question as Burke, only in order to be, like Burke, coughed down, or left speaking to green benches and red boxes? This has long appeared to us to be the most serious of the evils which are to be set off against the many blessings of popular government. It is a fine and true saying of Bacon, that reading makes a full man, talking a ready man, and writing an exact man. The tendency of institutions like those of England is to encourage readiness in public men, at the expense both of fulness and of exactness. The keenest and most vigorous minds of every generation, minds often admirably fitted for the investigation of truth, are habitually employed in producing arguments, such as no man of sense would ever put into a treatise intended for publication, arguments which are just good enough to be used once,
when aided by fluent delivery and pointed language. The habit of discussing questions in this way necessarily reacts on the intellects of our ablest men, particularly of those who are introduced into parliament at a very early age, before their minds have expanded to full maturity. The talent for debate is developed in such men to a degree which, to the multitude, seems as marvellous as the performances of an Italian improvisatore. But they are fortunate indeed if they retain unimpaired the faculties which are required for close reasoning or for enlarged speculation. Indeed we should sooner expect a great original work on political science, such a work, for example, as the Wealth of Nations, from an apothecary in a country town, or from a minister in the Hebrides, than from a statesman who, ever since he was one-and-twenty, had been a distinguished debater in the House of Commons.
5. SUBSCRIPTION TO RACE MEETINGS.
During Macaulay's earlier connection with Edinburgh as one of its representatives he was applied to for a subscription to the annual race meeting of the town, the sum of fifty guineas having usually been given under such circumstances. He declined to continue the practice, and thus expressed his views to his friend Mr. Adam Black:
In the first place, I am not clear that the object is a good one. In the next place, I am clear that by giving money for such an object in obedience to such a summons, I should completely change the whole character of my connection with Edinburgh. It has been usual enough for rich families to keep a hold on corrupt boroughs by defraying the expense of public amusements. Sometimes it is a ball; sometimes a regatta. The Derby family used to support the Preston races. The members for Beverley, I believe, find a bull for the constituents to bait. But these were not the conditions upon which I undertook to represent Edinburgh. In return for your generous confidence, I offer faithful parliamentary service, and nothing else. ... The call that is now made is one so objectionable that I must plainly say, I would rather take the Chiltern Hundreds than comply with it. If our friends want a member who will find them in public diversions, they can be at no loss. I know twenty people who, if
you will elect them to Parliament, will gladly treat you to a race and a race-ball once a month. But I shall not be very easily induced to believe that Edinburgh is disposed to select her representatives on such a principle«.
Philip Henry, Lord Stanhope, bedre kjendt under sit tidligere Navn Lord Mahon, hører til en yngre Gren af Familien Stanhope, en af de store, saakaldte „governing families“ i England. Han gik den for de unge engelske Patriciere slagne Vei, studerede først i Oxford, og kom derpaa ind i Underhuset, hvor han med en kort Afbrydelse sad fra 1830 til 1852. I Peels første Ministerium (1834–35) var han Understatssekretær i Udenrigsministeriet under Hertugen af Wellington; i det sidste Aar af Peels andet Ministerium (1845—46) Sekretær i det indiske Departement, og voterede, skjønt hørende til Torierne, med Peel for Kornlovenes Ophævelse. Sit berømte Navn har han imidlertid vundet ikke som Politiker, men gjennem Literaturen, til hvilken Familien Stanhope altid har havt en medfødt Dragelse. Han optraadte i 1830 med sit første historiske Arbeide, Life of Belisarius, hvorpaa fulgte i 1832 hans bekjendte History of the War of the Succession in Spain ; dette sidste Værk, hvortil han kunde benytte en stor Mængde før ukjendte Kilder, deriblandt sin berømte Slægtnings, General Stanhopes *), Breve og Papirer, blev meget gunstigt bedømt af Macaulay i Edinburgh Review, hvorfra Recensionen siden er bleven optrykt i dennes historiske og kritiske
*) James Stanhope, den første Earl Stanhope, en Tid Overstbefalende over de engelske
Tropper i Spanien under Arvefølgekrigen; han indtog i 1708 Port Mahon paa Minorka (hvoraf Titelen Viscount Mahon), og var senere Premierminister under Georg den Første. Han er Stifteren af den Gren af Familien Stanhope, hvortil Historikeren hører; de to andre Grene repræsenteres ved Jarlerne Chesterfield og Harrington. Historikerens Bedstefader var den excentriske Charles Stanhope, som i sin Tid gjorde sig saa bemærket ved sine republikanske Meninger og sin Beundring for den franske Revolution; han var tillige en meget dygtig Mathematiker, hvem dere nyttige Opfindelser skyldes, saaledes den efter Opfinderen benævnte Stanhope Presse, som endnu er den i Bogtrykkerierne almindeligst brugelige Haandpresse. Han var første Gang gift med Chathams Datter Lady Hesther, og harde i dette Ægteskab den ligesaa excentriske Datter Lady Hesther Stanhope, som forlod sin Familie og levede i den syriske Orken, hvor hun døde i 1839.