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MR. SHERIDAN AND THE SCOTCH BOROUGHS. He had been, singularly enough, selected, in the year 1787, by the burgesses of Scotland, in preference to so many others possessing more personal knowledge of that country, to present to the House the Petition of the Convention. Delegates, for a Reform of the internal government of the Royal Boroughs. How fully satisfied they were with his exertions in their cause may be judged by the following extract from the Minutes of Convention, dated 11th August, 1791

“Mr. Mills, of Perth, after a suitable introductory speech, moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Sheridan, in the following

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“The Delegates of the Burgesses of Scotland, associated for the purposes of Reform, taking into their most serious consideration the important services rendered to their cause by the manly and prudent exertions of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Esq., the genuine and fixed attachment to it which the whole tenor of his conduct has evinced, and the admirable moderation he has all along displayed,

“Resolved unanimously, That the most sincere thanks of this meeting be given to the said Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Esq., for his steady, honourable, and judicious conduct in bringing the question of the violated rights of the Scottish Baroughs to its present important and favourable crisis ; and the Burgesses with firm confidence hope that, from his attachment to the cause, which he has shown to be deeply rooted in principle, he will persevere to exert his distinguished abilities, till the objects of it are obtained, with that inflexible firmness, and constitutional moderation, which have appeared so conspicuous and exemplary throughout the whole of his conduct, as to be highly deserving of the imitation of all good citizens.

“JOHN EwEN, Secretary."


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25th May, 1793.-Mr. Sheridan bets Gen. Fitzpatrick one hundred guineas to fifty guineas, that within two years from this date some measure is adopted in Parliament which shall be (bonâ fide) considered as the adoption of a Parliamentary Reform."

29th January, 1793.-Mr. S. bets Mr. Boothby Clopton five hundred guineas that there is a Reform in the Representation of the people of England within three years from the date hereof."

29th January, 1793.-Mr. S. bets Mr. Hardy five hundred to fifty guineas, that Mr. W. Windham does not represent Norwich at the next general election."

29th January, 1793.-Mr. S. bets Gen. Fitzpatrick fifty guineas, that a corps of British troops are sent to Holland within two months of the date hereof."

“18th March, 1793.-Mr. S. bets Lord Titchfield two hundred guineas, that the D. of Portland is at the head of an Administration on or before the 18th of March, 1796 : Mr. Fox to decide whether any place the Duke may then fill shall bonâ fide come within the meaning of this bet.”

25th March, 1793.-Mr. S. bets Mr. Hardy one hundred guineas, that the three per cent. consols are as high this day twelvemonth as at the date hereof.”

“Mr. S. bets Gen. Tarleton one hundred guineas to fifty guineas, that Mr. Pitt is First Lord of the Treasury on the 28th of May, 1795.---Mr. S. bets Mr. St. A. St. John fifteen guineas to five guineas, ditto.—Mr. S. bets Lord Sefton one hundred and forty guineas to forty guineas, ditto."

19th March, 1793.—Lord Titchfield and Lord' W. Russell bet Mr. S. three hundred guineas to two hundred guineas, that Mr. Pitt is First Lord of the Treasury on the 19th of March, 1795."

18th March, 1793.-Lord Titchfield bets Mr. S. twentyfive guineas to fifty guineas, that Mr. W. Windham represents Norwich at the next general election."

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In the May of 1794 Mr. Sheridan was called upon for his reply on the Begum charge. It was usual, on these occasions, for the manager who spoke to be assisted by one of his brother managers, whose task it was to carry the bag that contained his

papers, and to read out whatever minutes might be referred to in the course of the argument. Mr. Michael Angelo Taylor was the person who undertook this office for Sheridan ; but, on the morning of the speech, upon his asking for the bag that he was to carry, he was told by Sheridan that there was noneneither bag nor papers. They must manage, he said, as well as they could without them ;-and when the papers were called for, his friend must only put the best countenance he could upon it. As for himself," he would abuse Ned Law -ridicule Plumer's long orations—make the court laugh-please the women, and, in short, with Taylor's aid, would get triumphantly through his task.” His opening of the case was listened to with the profoundest attention ; but when he came to contrast the evidence of the Commons with that adduced by Hastings, it was not long before the chancellor interrupted him, with a request that the printed minutes to which he referred should be read. Sheridan answered that his friend Mr. Taylor would read them; and Mr. Taylor affected to send for the bag, while the orator begged leave, in the meantime, to proceed. Again, however, his statements rendered a reference to the minutes ne sary, and again he was interrupted by the chancellor, while an outcry after Mr. Sheridan's bag was raised in all directions. At first the blame was laid on the solicitor's clerk ;then a messenger was dispatched to Mr. Sheridan's house. In the meantime the orator was proceeding brilliantly and successfully in his argument, and, on some further interruption and expostulation from the chancellor, raised his voice, and said, in a dignified tone, “On the part of the Commons, and as manager of this impeachinent, I shall conduct my case as I think proper. I mean to be correct; and your lordships, having the printed minutes before you, will afterwards see whether I am right or wrong."

During the bustle produced by the inquiries after the bag, Mr. Fox, alarmed at the inconvenience which he feared the want of it might occasion to Sheridan, ran up from the manager's room, and demanded eagerly the cause of this mistake from Mr. Taylor ; who, hiding his mouth with his hand, whispered him in a tone full of humour), “The man has no

bag !"

The whole of this characteristic contrivance was evidently intended by Sheridan to raise that sort of surprise at the readiness of his resources, which it was the favourite triumph of his vanity to create. Mr. Moore says, “I have it on the authority of Mr. William Smythe, that, previously to the delivery of this speech, he passed two or three days alone at Wanstead, so occupied from morning till night in writing and reading of papers, as to complain in the evenings that he had motes before his eyes.' This mixture of real labour with apparent carelessness was, indeed, one of the most curious features of his life and character."


OF THE DUCHY OF CORNWALL. Early in the year 1804, on the death of Lord Elliot, the office of Receiver of the Duchy of Cornwall, which had been held by that nobleman, was bestowed by the Prince of Wales upon Mr. Sheridan, “as a trifling proof of that sincere friendship his Royal Highness had always professed and felt for him through a long series of years." His Royal Highness also added, in the same communication, the very cordial words, “I wish to God it was better worth your acceptance."

The following letter from Sheridan to Mr. Addington, communicating the intelligence of this appointment, shows pretty plainly the terms on which he not only now stood, but was well inclined to continue, with that minister :

George Street, Tuesday evening. Dear Sir,---Convinced as I am of the sincerity of your good will towards me, I do not regard it as an impertinent intrusion to inform you that the Prince has, in the most gracious manner, and wholly unsolicited, been pleased to appoint me to the late Lord Elliot's situation in the Duchy of Cornwall. I feel a de sire to communicate this to you myself

, because I feel a confidence that you will be glad of it. It has been my pride and pleasure to have exerted my humble efforts to serve the Prince without ever accepting the slightest obligation from him ; but, in the present case, and under the present circumstances, I think it would have been really false pride and apparently mischievous affectation to have declined this mark of his Royal Highness's confidence and favour. I will not disguise that, at this peculiar crisis, I am greatly gratified at this event. Had it been the result of a mean and subservient devotion to the Prince's every wish and object, I could neither have respected the gift, the giver, or myself; but when I consider how recently it was my misfortune to find myself compelled by a sense of duty, stronger than my attachment to him, wholly to risk the situation I held in his confidence and favour, and that upon a subject * on which his feelings were so eager and irritable, I cannot but regard the increased attention, with which he has since honoured me, as a most gratifying demonstration that he has clearness of judgment and firmness of spirit to distinguish the real friends to his true glory and interests from the mean and mercenary sycophants, who fear and abhor that such friends should be near him. It is satisfactory to me, also, that this appointment also gives me the title and opportunity of seeing the Prince, on trying occasions, openly and in the face of day, and puts aside the mask of mystery and concealment. I trust I need not add, that whatever small portion of fair influence I may at any time possess with the prince, it shall be uniformly exerted to promote those feelings of duty and affection towards their Majesties, which, though seemingly interrupted by adverse circumstances, I am sure are in his heart warm and unalterable -and, as far as I may presume, that general concord throughout his illustrious family, which must be looked to by every honest subject, as an essential part of the public strength at this momentous period. I have the honour to be, with great respect and esteem,

Your obedient servant,

R. B. SHERIDAN. Right Hon. Henry Addington.

SHERIDAN'S PERSONAL APPEARANCE. WHEN young, he was generally accounted handsome; but in later years his eyes were the only testimonials of beauty that remained to him. It was, indeed, in the upper part of his face that the spirit of the man chiefly reigned, the dominion of the world and the senses being rather strongly marked out in the lower. In his person he was about the middle size, and his general make was robust and well proportioned. It is remarkable that his arms, though of powerful strength, were thin, and appeared by no means muscular. His hands were small and

The offer made by the Prince of his personal services in 1803, -on which occasion Sheridan coincided with the views of Mr. Addington somewhat more than was agreeable to his Royal Highness.

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