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sibly ever since Charles II.; but, with uncommon skill, and unbounded profusion, he brought it to that perfection, which at this time dishonours and distresses this country, and which (if not checked, and God knows how it can be pow checked) must ruin it.
Besides this powerful engine of government, he had a most extraordinary talent of persuading and working men up to his purpose. A hearty kind of frankness, which sometimes seemed impudence, made people think that he let them into his secrets, whilst the impoliteness of his manners seemed to attest his sincerity. When he found any body proof against pecuniary temptations, which, alas ! was but seldom, he bad recourse to a still worse art; for he laughed at and ridiculed all notions of public virtue, and the love of one's country, calling them, the chimerical schoolboy flights of classical learning; declaring himself,' at the same time, i no saint, no Spartan, no reformer.' He would frequently ask young fellows, at their first appearance in the world, while their honest hearts were yet untainted, “Well, are you to be an old Roman? a patriot? you will soon come off of that, and grow wiser.' And thus he was more dangerous to the morals than to the liberties of bis country, to which I am persuaded he meant no ill in his heart.
He was the easy and profuse dupe of women, and in some instances indecently so. He was excessively open to flattery, even of the grossest kind, and from the coarsest bunglers of that viie profession; which engaged him to pass most of his
leisure and jovial hours with people whose blasted characters reflected upon his own. He was loved by many, but respected by none; his familiar and illiberal mirth and raillery leaving him no dignity. He was not vindictive, but, on the contrary, very placable to those who had injured him the most. His good-hamour, good-nature, and beneficence, in the several relations of father, husband, master, and friend, gained him the warmest affections of all within that circle.
His name will not be recorded in history among the best men,' or the best ministers ; but much less ought it to be ranked among the worst.
CHARACTER OF LORD GRANVILLE. LORD Granville had great parts, and a most un. common share of learning for a man of quality. He was one of the best speakers in the house of lords, both in the declamatory and the argumentative way. He had a wonderful quickness and precision in seizing the stress of a question, which no art, no sophistry, could disguise in him. In business he was bold, enterprising, and overbearing. He had been bred up in high monarchical, that is, tyrannical principles of government, which bis ardent and imperious temper made him think were the only rational and practicable ones. He would have been a great first minister in France, little inferior, perhaps, to Richelieu : in this government, which is yet free, he would bave been a dangerous one, little less so, perhaps, than lord Strafford. He was neither ill-natured nor vindictive, and had a great contempt for money; his ideas were all above it. In social life he was an agreeable, good-lrumoured, and instructive companion; a great but entertaining talker.
He degraded himself by the vice of drinking ; which, together with a great stock of Greek and Latin, he brought away with bim from Oxford, and retained and practised ever afterwards. By his own industry, he had made himself master of all the modern languages, and liad acquired a great knowledge of the law. His political knowledge of the interest of princes and of commerce was extensive, and his notions were just and great. His character may be summoned up, in pice precision, quick decision, and unbounded presumption.
CHARACTER OF MR. PULTENEY. Mr. Pulteney was formed by nature for social and convivial pleasures. Resentment made him engage in business. He had thought himself slighted by sir Robert Walpole, to whom he publicly avowed not only revenge, but utter destruction. He had lively and shining parts, a surprising quickness of wit, and a happy turn to the most amusing and entertaining kinds of poetry, as epigrams, ballads, odes, &c.; in all which he had an uncommon facility. His compositions in that way were sometimes satirical, often licentious, but always full of wit.
He had a quick and clear conception of business; could equally detect and practise sophistry. He could state and explain the most intricate matters, even in figures, with the utmost perspicuity. His parts were rather above business ; and the warmth of his imagination, joined to the impetuosity and restlessness of his temper, made him incapable of conducting it long together with prudence and steadiness.
He was a most complete orator and debater in the house of commons; eloquent, entertaining, persuasive, strong, and pathetic, as occasion required; for he had arguments, wit, and tears, at his command. His breast was the seat of all those passions which degrade our nature and disturb our reason. There they raged in perpetual conflict; but avarice, the meanest of them all, generally triumphed, ruled absolutely, and in many instances, which I forbear to mention, most scandalously.
His sudden passion was outrageous, but supported by great personal courage. Nothing exceeded his ambition, but his avarice; they often accompany, and are frequently and reciprocally the causes and the effects of each other, but the latter is always a clog upon the former. He af. fected good-nature and compassion; and perhaps his heart might feel the misfortunes and distresses of his fellow-creatures, but his hand was seldom or never stretched out to relieve them. Though he was an able actor of truth and sincerity, he could oecasionally lay them aside, to serve the purposes of his ambition or avarice.
He was once in the greatest point of view that ever I saw any subject in. When the opposition, of which he was the leader in the house of com
mons, prevailed at last against sir Robert Walpole, he became the arbiter between the crown and the people; the former imploring his protection, the latter his support. In that critical moment his various jarring passions were in the luighest ferment, and for a while suspended his ruling one. Sense of shame made him hesitate at turning courtier on a sudden, after having acted the patriot so long, and with so much applause; and his pride made him declare, that he would accept of no place; vainly imagining, that he could, by such a simulated and temporary self-denial, preserve his popularity with the public, and his power at court. He was mistaken in both. The king hated him almost as much for what he might have done, as for what he had done; and a motley ministry was formed, which by no means desired his company. The nation looked upon him as a deserter, and he shrunk into insignificancy and an earldom.
He made several attempts afterwards to retrieve the opportunity he had lost, but in vain ; his si'tuation would not allow it. He was fixed in the house of lords, that hospital of incurables ; and his retreat to popularity was cut off: for the confidence of the public, when once great, and once lost, is never to be regained. He lived afterwards in retirement, with the wretched comfort of Ho. race's miser:
Populns me sibilat, &c. I may, perhaps, be suspected to have given too strong colouring to some features of this portrait; but I solemnly protest, that I have drawn it conscientiously, and to the best of my knowledge,