to shake the vindication of Mr. Croker in generosity itself.” He began authorship the article to which we have referred, early, for when not quite nine years old, which appeared in the number of this re- one of his prose election squibs was view for July, 1876. The task would in- printed, during a contest at Cork. He deed have been a hopeless one. But afterwards spent some time at a school Macaulay's words have produced an un- founded by French refugees, where only fair impression on innumerable minds, to French was spoken, and where he at. which the true character of Croker can tained, what was afterwards of great sernever be made known. That mischief can vice to him, a perfect facility in reading, never be wholly undone; but those, at writing, and speaking that language. least, who come with open minds to the When about twelve years old, he went to perusal of the records brought together a Mr. Willis's school at Portarlington, with great ability by Mr. Jennings in the where the late Mr. Justice Jackson, of the present volumes, will not be likely to Irish Common Pleas, on entering as a form such an estimate either of Mr. Cro- pupil, found him “at the head of the ker's character or his abilities. The man school, and facile princeps in every who, without the advantage of family or branch," and the masters “proud of his fortune, early raised himself to the high talents and acquirements, as being likely official position which Mr. Croker main- to redound to the character and credit of tained with distinction through a long the school.” A year or two at another series of years, and who won for himself and more classical school, also at Portar. the close friendship and respect of many lington, kept by the Rev. Richmond Hood, of the men of whom the country was and who a few years later became Sir R. Peel's is inost proud, must have possessed facul- classical tutor, prepared bim for Trinity ties not “slender,” even in comparison College, Dublin, where he was entered in with those of Lord Macaulay. To the November, 1796, a month before he was charge against his moral nature, — bis sixteen. Tom Moore was there, a year or happy domestic life, his unblemished two his senior, and he inet of his own public character, the “honor, love, obedi-class Strangford, Leslie Foster, Gervais, ence ” of those with whom he worked, Burke, Fitzgibbon, Coote, and others who and “the troops of friends” that sur rose afterwards to social and professional rounded him till his death, are a conclu. distinction. sive answer.

Having decided on going to the bar, he John Wilson Croker was born in Gal- entered himself as a student at Lincoln's way on the 20th of December, 1780. His Inn in 18oo, and during the two followfather, John Croker, of an old Devonshire ing years devoted himself to legal study stock, was for many years surveyor gen- there. But the bent of his mind, then as eral of customs and excise in Ireland, and ever, seems to have been strongly towards is spoken of by Burke as “a man of great literature. The incidents of the French abilities and most amiable manners, an Revolution had taken a great hold upon able and upright public steward, and uni- bis mind, and be had already made prog. versally beloved and respected in private ress in that minute study of the Revolulife.” His mother was the daughter of tionary epoch, which ultimately led to the Rev. R. Rathbone, of Galway. He his forming the remarkable collection of was obviously a bright, clever boy, and French contemporary pamphlets, now in amiable also, if we are to credit Sheridan the British Museum, and made himn probKnowles, to whose father's school in Cork ably the best-informed man in England young Croker was sent when very young, upon all the details of that period of to be cured of a stutter, which he never French history. A series of letters on entirely conquered. You were my dear the subject, addressed to Tallien, intromother's favorite,” Knowles wrote in 1856. duced him to a connection with the Times, “She loved you for your constant good and laid the foundation of a lasting and spirits and a cordial frankness that drew confidential intimacy with its leading proyou to her — for she was frankness and prietor. Of what he was socially at this

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period, the late Mr. Jesse, the naturalist, / to Mr. Jennings, she “ took more interest who lodged in the same boarding house in literary studies and pursuits than her with him in the Middle Scotland Yard, husband at that time imagined, and her gives us a glimpse. “The society in the judgment, as be afterwards gratefully achouse,” he writes, “consisted of four or knowledged, was always sound and good.” five very pleasant men, and Mr. Croker In the same year Mr. Croker, on the soon became the life of the party by his sudden withdrawal of the candidate for wit and talents, and hi constant readi- Dowopatrick, whom he had gone down to ness to provoke an argument, which he support, made an unsuccessful effort to never failed to have the best of.” During obtain the seat. But when a dissolution this period he was associated with Horace took place the following year, on the col. and James Smith, Mr. Herries, Colonel lapse of the All the Talents ministry, Greville, Prince Hoare, and Mr. Cumber. he gained the seat, and retained it, after land, in writing both prose and verse for a long struggle on a petition agaiost his two short-lived publications called the return. To the administration of the Duke Cabinet and the Picnic.

of Portland he now declared his general He returned to Dublin in 1802, and in adherence, reserving to himself freedom 1804 created great local commotion there on the question of the removal of Catholic by a little volume in verse of “Familiar disabilities, to which he was strongly fa. Epistles” to Mr. Jones, the manager of vorable. His powers as a speaker must the Crow Street Theatre, “on the Present by this time have been well tested, for he State of the Irish Stage.” The theatre spoke the very first night he took bis seat, was then the delight of the best people in on the state of Ireland, provoked thereto Dublin, and yielded, as Croker mentions, by some observations of an orator no the large income, for those days, of 5,000l. less formidable than Mr. Grattan, which a year to the manager, a sum,” as he be thought “injurious and unfounded.” says, "greater than the salary of two of "Though obviously unpremeditated," be

“ the judges of that land.” In our copy, wrote long afterwards," I was not alto. the fourth edition, published in 1805, a gether flattered at hearing that my first contemporary, whose MS. notes indicate speech was the best. I suspect it was so. that he was well informed upon theatrical Canning, whom I had never seen before, matters, remarks that in 1805 the manager asked Mr. Foster to introduce me to him made between 6,000l. and 7,000l. The after the division, was very kind, and liberality of the manager, to judge by Cro-walked home with me to my lodgings." ker's book, in providing a good company The acquaintance thus begun, cemented of actors, was by no means proportionate as it was by community of opinion on the to the liberality of his public. In a kind Catholic question, ripened into a friend. of local “ Rosciad,” Croker passes the ship, which only terminated with Can. actors and their manager in review. ning's death twenty years afterwards.

By this time Mr. Croker had attached Croker's views on that burning question himself to the Munster Circuit, where he were stated at this time (1807) with so first encountered Mr. Daniel O'Connell. much ability in a pamphlet, called “A His father's influence procured him many Sketch of Ireland Past and Present," revenue cases, and the steady and rapid which ran rapidly through twenty editions, increase of his practice gave promise of a that it fixed upon its author the attention highly successíul career. It was suffi- of all leading politicians. Among these cient for him to marry upon, and in 1806 was Mr. Perceval, whose opinions were he was united to Miss Pennell, daughter diametrically opposed to those enunciated of Mr. William Pennell, afterwards Brit. in the pamphlet. Nevertheless, such was ish consul-general in South America, an his opinion of the writer's powers and event which he always regarded as the aptitude for business, that he recomchief blessing of his life. To his friend mended Sir Arthur Wellesley, on his apMr. E. H. Locker, father of Mr. Frederick pointment in June, 1808, to the command Locker, he described her in a letter at of the forces in the Peninsula, to entrust the time as "a kiod, even-tempered, well to the young Irish member in his absence judging girl, who can admire beauty and the Parliamentary business of his office value talents without pretending to either, of chief secretary for Ireland. Sir Arthur and whose object is rather to make home took his recommendation, and a relation happy than splendid, and her husband between himself and Mr. Croker was thus contented than vain." He seems not to established, which was never interrupted. have surmised her to possess any special Not the least interesting part of these literary capacity or taste, but, according | volumes is the correspondence with the

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great duke, and Mr. Croker's memoranda of them, as everybody else seems to be ; and of conversations with him upon all his bat- secondly, because, if what I hear of their sys. tles, and oiber momentous events of his tem of manoeuvres be true, I think it a false life. All that Mr. Croker saw of the man

one as against steady troops. I suspect all the whom he always regarded as his model continental armies were more than half beaten hero, - and he saw him under conditions before the battle was begun. I, at least, will

not be frightened beforehand.” (Vol. i., p. 12.) of the greatest unreserve at times when his sagacity and courage were most severely What splendid results followed from tested, -increased his admiration. This that reverie, and others of the same kind, is what he says in a memorandum written the duke's adversaries soon learned. With in 1826:

the comparatively small handful of troops When I first went to the Admiralty, Sir at bis command, he might well contem. Roger Curtis, then Commander-in-Chief at plate the contingency of being “overPortsmouth, who had previously been an ac- whelmed” as a possible one. But that he quaintance of mine, through the Howes and would make the most of what men he had, Lady Sligo, and was so kind as to favor me and never strain their powers too far, was with his advice, said to me, “My dear friend, certain. Another memorandum, in 1826, beware of Heroes. The more you come to is of the highest interest, as showing the know them, the less you will think of them,” pains he took to make himself that thor. and certainly he was right, as far as my expe. ough master of the details of every branch rience went with many who set up for heroes. The grand exception was the real hero-the of his profession which, by enabling him Duke — who in mind and manners was the to shape his plans with due regard to his same, exactly the same, when I first knew him resources, made him the successful genin 1806 as he is now, and rose in my adinira- eral he was. He had been speaking of tion every hour that I saw him — always sim- the difference of the qualities required for ple and always great. (Vol. i., p. 350.) the command of a division and the com

The duke, in accordance with his uni. mand of an army. These, he said, are form rule of choosing his agents well, quite different, though the greater will of must have thoroughly satisfied bimself of course include the less. The great gen. Croker's qualifications to act for him, eral must understand the actual handling when the meeting took place which is of troops; but, he continued recorded in the following memorandum : it is necessary to begin still lower. One must

Fune 14th, 1808. — Dined early with Sir understand the mechanism and power of the Arthur and Lady Wellesley in Harley St., in individual soldier ; then that of a company, a order to talk

over some of the Irish business battalion, or brigade, and so on, before one which he had requested me to do for him in can venture to group divisions and move an the House of Commons, as he was to set out


I believe I owe most of my success to for Ireland next morning on his way to Portu- the attention I always paid to the inferior part gal. After dinner we were alone and talked of tactics as a regimental officer. There were over our business. There was one point of few men in the army who knew these details the Dublin Pipe Water Bill on which I dif- better than I did; it is the foundation of all fered a little from him, but could not convince military knowledge. When you are sure that him. At last I said, perhaps he would recon- you know the power of your tools and the way sider the subject and write to me from Dublin to handle them, you are able to give your mind about it. He said in his quick way, “No, no, the presence of the enemy forces upon you.

altogether to the greater considerations which I shall be no wiser to-morrow than I am today. I

I have given you my reasons : you must Mr. Croker adds some further interest. decide for yourself.”. When this was over, ing particulars on this head :and while I was making some memoranda on the papers, he seemed to lapse into a kind of He told me, on an earlier occasion, that reverie, and remained silent so long that I within a few days after joining his first regiasked him what he was thinking of. He re- ment (I think he said the 73rd) as an ensign, plied, “ Why, to say the truth, I am thinking he had one of the privates weighed in his of the French that I am going to fight. I have clothes only, and then with all his arms, acnot seen them since the campaign in Flanders, coutrements, and kit in full marching-order, when they were capital soldiers, and a dozen with the view of comparing as well as he could years of victory under Buonaparte must have the power of the man with the duty expected made them beiter still. They have besides, it from him. I said that this was a most extraorseems, a new system of strategy, which has dinary thought to have occurred to so young a out-manæuvred and overwhelmed all the armies man. He said, “Why, I was not so young as of Europe. 'Tis enough to make one thought, not to know that since I had undertaken a proful; but no matter ; my die is cast, they may fession I had better try to understand it.” overwhelm me, but I don't think they will out. When I repeated this to Colonel Shawe, a manoeuvre me. First, because I am not afraid | great friend of both him and Lord Wellesley,


he told me that in the Duke's early residence Caoning and Mr. George Ellis he was on in India, and before he was in command, his terms of intimacy, and be shared their critical study of his profession afforded a counsels in arranging for its establishmarked contrast to the general habits of that ment in the February of that year. This time and country. Shawe also added another early anecdote. The Duke inherits his father's brought him acquainted with Sir Walter musical taste, and used to play very well, and Scott

, who was in London that spring, rather too much, on the violin. Some circum- and, according to his friend Mr. Morritt, stances occurred which made him reflect that was much with George Ellis, Caoning, this was not a soldierly accomplishment, and and Croker, and delighted in them -as, took up too much of his time and thoughts; indeed, who did not?” The third numand he burned his fiddles, and never played ber of this review contained Croker's first again. About the same time he gave up the contribution, an article on Miss Edgehabit of card-playing. (Vol. i., p. 337.) worth's " Tales of Fashionable Life." He

To act for a man of this stamp, we may did not again contribute till the tenth be sure, was a stimulus to the conscien. number in 1811, but from that time to tious fulfilment of his trust, had any stim- | 1854, excepting for an interval between ulus been needed by Mr. Croker. His 1826 and 1831, scarcely a number appeared experience of official work, and of Parlia- without one or more papers by him. “It mentary tactics, afforded by its duties, was,” says Mr. Jennings (vol. i. p. 25), was most valuable. They gave him a "the chief pride of his life to be associated position, and helped, with his own abili- with this periodical, and his best original ties, to command a hearing for him in the work was done for its pages.". The Whig House of Commons. The discussions press credited all the political articles to there in 1809, on Colonel Wardle's charge his account, but, as he wrote to Mr. Locke against the Duke of York of conniving at hart in 1834, "for twenty years that I the sale of military appointments by his wrote in it, from 1809 to 1829, I never mistress, brought Mr. Croker to the front. gave, I believe, one purely political article He spoke in answer to Sir Francis Bur- not one, certainly, in wbich politics dett on March 14, dissecting and tearing predominated.” to pieces the evidence adduced against the In a poem on “ The Battle of Talavera” duke, with a skill which bore testimony to (July 28, 1809) Mr. Croker did justice to the value of his legal studies. The speech ihe genius that directed, and the gallantry

a brilliant success, and assisted so that won for England, that important vicmaterially in the vindication of the duke, tory. It appeared in the autumn of 1809, as to draw down upon Mr. Croker the and in the following April bis publisher, obloquy and scurrilous abuse of the fo. Mr. Murray, wrote to him, that it had menters of what even Lord Grey always been "more successful than any short spoke of as “a mean and miserable prose. poem he knew,” exceeding in circulation cution."

Mr. Heber's “ “ Palestine or “Europe, At this time Mr. Croker had nothing and even Mr. Canning's " Ulm and Tra. but his profession and his pen to depend falgar.". Sir Walter Scott, in whose upon. In April 1809, it appears from a “Marmion” metre the poem was written, memorandum (vol. i. p. 14) that, after a thought it “beautiful and spirited. Many conversation about the Dublin Paving a heart,” he added, when acknowledging Bill, Mr. Perceval said to him, “But, a copy of the eighth edition, “has kindled Croker, you are all this while taking a at your • Talavera,' which may be the more great deal of trouble for us, and no care patriotic for the impulse as long as it shall of yourself. Can you not think of any- last. I trust we may soon hear from the thing we can do for you ?Croker's re. conqueror of that glorious day such news ply was that he had not done so, but that as may procure us another of the same.' he should have liked, for the sake of learn. His excellent conduct, joined to his high ing business, to have been the private sec- and undaunted courage, make him our retary to the chief secretary for Ireland. Nelson on land, and though I devoutly Mr. Perceval begged him to look out for wish that his force could be doubled, I something suitable, and assured him that shall feel little anxiety for the event of a the government would be happy to serve day when he is only outnumbered by onebim.

third” (vol. i., p. 32). He pronounced a The close of the session of 1809 set more elaborate but not less friendly judg. him free to return to his profession in ment upon the poem in this review (vol. Ireland and to literary work. Before he ii., p. 426); but more precious than even Jeft London, he had been enlisted among Scott's praise must have been a letter the contributors to this review. With(dated Badajoz, November 15) from Wel.


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lington, to whom Croker had written with | had addressed himself with his usual en. a copy, saying that he had read the poem ergy and acumen to looking into the de. with great satisfaction, and adding, "Itails of his department, and saw reason to did not think a battle could be turned to suspect a serious defalcation in an official anything so entertaining* I heard,” he of high rank and respectability, which had added, " with great pleasure that you were escaped the notice of his predecessors. to be appointed secretary of the admi. He at once refused his signature to a warralty, in which situation I have no doubt rant for a further issue of money until the you will do yourself credit, and more than last issues were accounted for. The de. justify me in any little exertion I may faulter, who had great influence with have made for you while I was in office." George III., used it to persuade the king

Mr. Perceval had not forgotten his that everything was right, and that the promise, and when he became premier, on young Irishman koew nothing of his busi. the breaking up of the Duke of Portland's ness. Meanwhile Mr. Croker went on admioistration, he directed Lord Mul with his researches, and satisfied himself grave, his first lord of the admiralty, to that "it was a case of ruin and disgrace offer to Mr. Croker the office mentioned to the individual, and a loss of at least by the duke. It was a high one, and far 200,000l. to the public.” Upon this he beyond bis expectations; but the per- laid the facts before his superior, Lord manency of Mr. Perceval's administration Mulgrave, but, finding his lordship did was precarious, and Mr. Croker paused not take the same view of the case, he before throwing up a profession of which, tendered his resignation. Mr. Perceval he tells us, he was fond, and which was took up the matter, and, Mr. Croker writes, yielding him about 6ool. a year. But all would, he believed, “have himself rehesitation ceased when, on arriving in signed rather than compromise an affair London, he was told by Mr. Arbuthnot, of which he saw the whole importance.” secretary of the treasury, that Mr. Perce. He explained the facts to the king, who val, in his unsuccessful negotiations with thereupon sent the young official " a most Lords Grenville and Grey to take office generous assurance of his satisfaction at with him, had proposed himself to take the his zeal in doing his duty, and his firme seals of the Home Office, and that the only ness in resisting his own first suggestions appointment for which he had stipulated under a misunderstanding of the case.” was that of Mr. Croker as his under sec. The subordination of all personal or retary. “ After this,” Mr. Croker writes, selfish considerations to the interests of 6 I could have no doubt what to do." the public service was the law of Mr.

Party feeling never ran higher than at Croker's official life. He could not indeed this time, and the appointment of a young have conceived the possibility of any and untried man to an office of such im. other, for a man of honor. The frank portance was of course made a subject of surrender of a fine position and an income violent attack. But Mr. Perceval, as the of 3,2001. a year, rather than be privy to event proved, had formed a just estimate malversations which had escaped the no. of his young friend's fitness for the very tice of those who ought to have detected responsible and anxious duties of his them, was, however, a sacrifice for wbich office. In less than a month this estimate the assailants of his appointment would was strikingly confirmed. Mr. Croker hardly have given him credit. Their at

tacks died out when it became obvious, as “Entertaining,” says the duke. As to truthfulness it soon did, that no complaint could be

But as he did not believe that history made either of his ability or zeal. The could be true, how should he look for truth in a poem? On this point we have his opinion, in more than one times were critical. Napoleon was at the place in these volumes. Thus, in one of his conversa- height of his power on the Continent. We tions (vol. i., p. 352), he says: ". Not write history because truth cannot be told ?' So I said to Jomini, were still smarting under the Walcheren and so I wrote to you when I told you that a battle was disaster, and the presence of a presiding like a ball — that one remembered one's own partner, mind at the post he held was of vital mobut knew very little what other couples might be about; nor, if one did, might it be quite decorous to tell all he ment. The extent of work in which he

So that, besides almost inevitable inaccuracy, was at once involved, he tells us, was there was the risk - indeed, the certainty - that you could not tell the whole truth without offence to some,

•quite terrific." He was at his office by and perhaps satisfying nobody.” About victorious bat- nine, and worked there till four or five. tles, even, it would not do to tell everything.. Living But his heart was in his work, and he was generals, if they spoke out, would confirm what the duke says in another place (vol. i , p. 417). “All troops ran always to be found at his desk. away - that he never minded; all he cared about was

two-and-twenty years,” he wrote to Mr. whether they would come back again, and he added that he always had a succession of lines for the purpose Murray in 1838, “I never quitted that of rallying fugitives."

office-room without a kind of uneasiness


he is silent.


“ For

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