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In the November of this year Mr. Sheridan lost, by a kind of death which must have deepened the feeling of the loss, the most intimate of all his companions, Tickell. If congeniality of dispositions and pursuits were always a strengthener of affection, the friendship between Tickell and Sheridan ought to have been of the most cordial kind; for they resembled each other in almost every particular-in their wit, their wants, their talent, and their thoughtlessness. It is but too true, however, that friendship in general gains far less by such a community of pursuit than it loses by the competition that naturally springs out of it ; and that two wits or two beauties form the last sort of alliance in which we ought to look for specimens of sincere and cordial friendship. The intercourse between Tickell and Sheridan was not free from such collisions of vanity. They seem to have lived, indeed, in a state of alternate repulsion and attraction; and, unable to do without the excitement of each other's vivacity, seldom parted without trials of temper as well as of wit. Being both , too, observers of character, and each finding in the other rich materials for observation, their love of ridicule could not withstand such a temptation, and they freely criticised each other to common friends, who, as is usually the case, agreed with both. Still, however, there was a whim and sprightliness, even about their mischief , which made it seem rather an exercise of ingenuity than an indulgence of ill nature; and if they had not carried on this intellectual warfare, neither would have liked the other half so well.

The two principal productions of Tickell, the “ Wreath of Fashion" and "Anticipation," were both upon temporary subjects, and have accordingly passed into oblivion. There are, however, some graceful touches of pleasantry in the poem; and the pamphlet (which procured for him not only fame but a place in the Stamp-office) contains passages, of which the application and the humour have not yet grown stale. As Sheridan is the hero of the Wreath of Fashion, it is but right to quote the verses that relate to him: and I do it with the more pleasure, because they also contain a wellmeriled tribute to Mrs. Sheridan. After a description of the various poets of the day that deposit their offerings in Lady Millar's 6 Vase of Sentiment," the author thus proceeds :



But see,

“ At Fashion's shrine behold a gentler bard
Gaze on the mystic vase with fond regard

Thalia checks the doubtful thought,
• Canst thou ( she cries) with sense, with genius fraught ,
Canst thou to Fashion's tyranny submit ,
Secure in native, independent wit ?
Or yield to Sentiment's insipid rule,
By Taste, by Fancy, chac'd through Scandal's school ?.

Ah no-be Sheridan's the comic page,
Or let me fly with Garrick from the stage.'
Haste then , my friend, (for let me boast that name, )
Haste to the opening path of genuine fame,
Or, if thy muse a gentler theme pursue ,
Ah, 'tis to love and thy Eliza due !
For, sure, the sweetest lay she well may claim,
Whose soul breathes harmony o'er all her frame;
While wedded love, with ray serenely clear,
Beams from her eye, as from its proper sphere."



In the year 1781 , Tickell brought out at Drury-Lane an op era called “ The Carnival of Venice,” on which there is the following remark in Mrs. Crouch's Memoirs :-“Many songs in this piece so perfectly resemble in poetic beauty those which adorn The Duenna, that they declare themselves to be the offspring of the same muse. I know not how far this conjecture may be founded; but there are four pretty lines which I remember in this opera , and which, it may be asserted without hesitation, Sheridan never wrote. He had no feeling for natural scenery', nor is there a trace of such a sentiment discoverable through his poetry. The following , as well as I can recollect, are the lines :

“ And while the moon shines on the stream,

And as soft music breathes around,
The feathering oar returns the gleam,

And dips in concert to the sound.”

I have already given a humorous Dedication of the Rivals, written by Tickell on the margin of a copy of that play in my possession. I shall now add another piece of still more happy humour, with which he has filled, in very neat handwriting, the three or four first pages of the same copy.

“ The Rivals, a Comedy-one of the best in the English languagewritten as long ago as the reign of George the Third. The author's name was Sheridan--he is mentioned by the historians of that age as a man of uncommon abilities, very little improved by cultivation. His confidence in the resources of his own genius, and his aversion to any sort of labour, were so great that he could not be prevailed upon to learn either to read or write. He was, for a short time, Manager of one of the

' In corroboration of this remark, I have been allowed to quote the following passage of a letter written by a very eminent person, whose name all lovers of the Picturesque associate with their best enjoyment of its beauties:

At one time I saw a good deal of Sheridan-he and his first wife passed some time here, and he is an instance that a taste for poetry and for scenery are not always united. Had this house been in the midst of Hounslow Heath, he could not have taken less interest in all around it: his delight was in shooting, all and every day; and my gamekeeper said, that of all the gentlemen he had ever been out with, he never knew so bad a shot."

play-houses, and conceived the extraordinary and almost incredible project of composing a play extempore, which he was to recite in the Green-room to the actors, who were immediately to come on the stage and perform it. The players refusing to undertake their parts at so short a notice, and with so little preparation, he threw up the management in disgust.

“ He was a member of the last Parliaments that were summoned in England, and signalised himself on many occasions by his wit and eloquence, though he seldom came to the House till the debate was nearly concluded, and never spoke, unless he was drunk. He lived on a footing of great intimacy with the famous Fox, who is said to have concerted with him the audacious attempt which he made , about the year 1783, to seize the whole property of the East India Company, amounting at that time to above 12,000,000l. sterling, and then to declare himself Lord Protector of the realm by the title of Carlo Khan. This desperate scheme actually received the consent of the lower House of parliament, the majority of whom were bribed by Fox, or intimidated by his and Sheridan's threats and violence; and it is generally believed that the Revolution would have taken place, if the Lords of the King's Bedchamber had not in a body surrounded the throne, and shown the most determined resolution not to abandon their posts but with their lives. The usurpation being defeated , Parliament was dissolved and loaded with infamy. Sheridan was one of the few members of it who were reelected :—the Burgesses of Stafford, whom he had kept in a constant state of intoxication for near three weeks, chose him again to represent them, which he was well qualified to do.

“ Fox's Whig party being very much reduced, or rather almost annihilated , he and the rest of the conspirators remained quiet for some time; till, in the year 1788, the French, in conjunction with Tippoo Sultan, having suddenly seized and divided between themselves the whole of the British possessions in India , the East India Company broke, and a national bankruptcy was apprehended. During this confusion Fox and his partizans assembled in large bodies, and made a violent attack in Parliament on Pitt, the King's first minister :-Sheridan supported and seconded him. Parliament seemed disposed to enquire into the cause of the calamity : the nation was almost in a state of actual rebellion ; and it

impossible for us , at the distance of three hundred years, to form any judgment what dreadful consequences might have followed, if the King, by the advice of the Lords of the Bedchamber, had not dissolved the Parliament, and taken the administration of affairs into his own hands, and those of a few confidential servants, at the head of whom he was pleased to place one Mr. Atkinson, a merchant, who had acquired a handsome fortune in the Jamaica trade, and passed universally for a man of unblemished integrity. His Majesty having now no farther occasion for Pitt, and being desirous of rewarding him for his past services, and, at the same time, finding an adequate employment for his great talents , caused him to enter into holy orders, and presented him with the Deanery of Windsor, where he became an excellent preacher, and published several volumes of sermons, all of which are now lost.

" To return to Sheridan :-on the abrogation of Parliaments, he entered into a closer connection than ever with Fox and a few others of lesser note, forming together as desperate and profligate a gang as ever disgraced a civilized country. They were guilty of every species of enormity, and went so far as even to commit robberies on the highway, with a degree of audacity that could be equalled only by the ingenuity with which they escaped conviction. Sheridan, not satisfied with eluding, determined to mock the justice of his country, and composed a Masque called · The Foresters,' containing a circumstantial account of some of the robberies he had committed, and a good deal of sarcasm on the pusillanimity of those whom he had robbed, and the inefficacy of the penal laws of the kingdom. This piece was acted at Drury-Lane Theatre with great applause, to the astonishment of all sober persons, and the scandal of the nation. His Majesty, who had long wished to curb the licentiousness of the press and the theatres, thought this a good opportunity. He ordered the performers to be enlisted into the army, the play-house to be shut up, , and all Theatrical exhibitions to be forbid on pain of death. Drury-Lanc house was soon after converted into a barrack for soldiers, which it has continued to be ever since. Sheridan was arrested, and, it was imagined would have suffered the rack, if he had not escaped from his guard by a stratagem, and gone over to Ireland in a balloon with which his friend Fox furnished him. Immediately on his arrival in Ireland , he put himself at the head of a party of the most violent Reformers, commanded a regiment of Volunteers at the siege of Dublin in 1791, and was supposed to be the person who planned the scheme for tarring and feathering Mr. Jenkinson, the Lord Lieutenant, and forcing him in that condition to sign the capitulation of the Castle. The persons who were to execute this strange enterprize had actually got into the Lord Lieutenant's apartment at midnight, and would probably have succeeded in their project, if Sheridan, who was intoxicated with whiskey, a strong liquor much in vogue with the Volunteers, had not attempted to force open the door of Mrs.---'s bedchamber, and so given the alarm to the garrison, who instantly flew to arms, seized Sheridan and every one of his party, and confined them in the castle-dungeon. Sheridan was ordered for execution the next day, but had no sooner got his legs and arms at liberty, than he began capering, jumping, dancing, and making all sorts of antics, to the utter amazement of the spectators. When the chaplain endeavoured, by serious advice and admonition, to bring him to a proper sense of his dreadful situation, he grinned , made faces at him, tried to tickle him, and played a thousand other pranks with such astonishing drollery, that the gravest countenances became cheerful, and the saddest hearts glad. The soldiers who attended at the gallows were so delighted with his merriment, which they deemed magnanimity, that the sheriffs began to apprehend a rescue, and ordered the hangman instantly to do his duty. He went off in a loud horse-laugh, and cast a look towards the Castle, accompanied with a gesture expressive of no great respect.

“ Thus ended the life of this singular and unhappy man -a melancholy instance of the calamities that attend the misapplication of great and splendid ability. He was married to a very beautiful and amiable woman, for whom he is said to have entertained an unalterable affection.

He had one son, a boy of the most promising hopes, whom he would never suffer to be instructed in the first rudiments of literature. He amused himself, however, with teaching the boy to draw portraits with his toes, in which he soon became so astonishing a proficient that he seldom failed to take a most exact likeness of every person who sat to him.

66 There are a few more plays by the same author, all of them excellent.

“For further information concerning this strange man, vide Macpherson's Moral History,' Art. ` Drunkenness.


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Speeches in answer to Lord Mornington.--Coalition of the whig Seceders

with Mr. Pitt. – Mr. Canning.--Evidence on the Trial of Horne
Tooke.--The“Glorious First of June."- Marriage of Mr. Sheridan.-
Pamphlet of Mr. Reeves.--Debts of the Prince of Wales.-Shakspeare
Manuscripts.-Trial of Stone. - Mutiny at the Nore. -Secession of
Mr. Fox from Parliament.

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In the year 1794, the natural consequences of the policy pursued by Mr. Pitt began rapidly to unfold themselves both at home and abroad'. The confederated Princes of the Continent, among whom the gold of England was now the sole bond of union, had succeeded as might be expected from so noble an incentive, and, powerful only in provoking France, had by every step they took but ministered to her aggrandizement. In the mean time, the measures of the English Minister at home were directed to the two great objects of his legislation--the raising of supplies and the suppressing of sedition;

in other words, to the double and anomalous task of making the people pay for the failures of their Royal allies,

and suffer for their sympathy with the success of their republican enemies. It is the opinion of a learned Jesuit, that it was by aqua regia the Golden Calf of the Israelites was dissolved -- and the cause of Kings was the Royal solvent, in which the wealth of Great Britain now melted irrecoverably away. While the successes, too, of the French had already lowered the tone of the Minister from projects of aggression to precautions of defence, the wounds which, in the wantonness of alarm, he had inflicted on the liberties of the country, were spreading an inflammation around them that threatened real danger. The severity of the sentences upon Muir and Palmer in Scotland, and the daring confidence with which charges of High

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'See, for a masterly exposure of the Errors of the War, the Speech of Lord Lansdowne this year, on bringing forward his Motion for Peace.

I cannot let the name of this nobleman pass, without expressing the deep gratitude which I feel to him, not only for his own kindness to me, when introduced, as a boy, to his notice, but for the friendship of his truly Noble descendant, which I, in a great degree, owe to him, and which has long been the pride and happiness of my life.


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