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THE LIFE OF LORD METCALFE.

In the commencement of the pre- the spirit and talents wbich constitute sent century, at his residence in the able governor. Portland Place, London, there was Mr Kaye in these memoirs has living a Major and Sir Thomas Met- done justice to his subject. The only calfe, a baronet, an East India Din objection to which his work appears rector, and member of Parliament for to us to lie exposed is, that it is somethe borough of Abingdon. His for- what more bulky than was necessary. tune and his military rank had been This is owing to the rumber of letters obtained in India; his baronetcy had and other documents introduced; but been won in Parliament by steady his own narrative would be also imvoting for the ministry of Pitt. Sir proved, if it proceeded with rather Thomas Metcalfe had two sons at more rapidity and precision. We Eton, Theophilus and Charles. The forget who it was that, at the end of younger of these, having survived his a long epistle to his friend, apologised brother, succeeded to the baronetcy, for its length on the ground that and was afterwards elevated to the "he had not time to write a shorter." peerage under the title of Lord Met- Mr Kaye would probably make the calfe. Leaving England at a very same apology. He is lengthy out of early age, as "writer" to the East haste. With a little more time, or a India Company, he rose to be Gov- little more care, he would have proernor-general of India; he after- duced a shorter book, and without wards served his country, at a very the sacrifice of a single fact or a single critical period, as governor of Ja thought. There are too many exmaica; and finally, under circum- tracts. Some of these are furnished stances still more difficult and dis- by a journal or commonplace-book couraging, accepted and filled most kept by Metcalfe when very young. creditably the office of Governor. Now, nothing is more interesting than general of Canada. There are few the narrative of the early days of civilians who have rendered more men who have distinguished theinsubstantial, laborious, unostentatious selves, but nothing can be less enterservice to the State ; there are few taining or less instructive than the men whose lives, public and private, early efforts of composition which the better deserve a record. More bril- clever lad makes, whether under the liant reputations may easily be found, head of essay, or theme, or moral but it would be difficult to select a reflection. You might as well presafer example by which to stimulate sent us with the child's copybook, and our youth to honourable ambition. show us how he made his pothooks. Lord Metcalfe rose by toil to the They can, at best, be characteristic highest posts, and attained the prize only of the sort of tuition he is then without a speck upon his character. and there growing under. Some Amidst upremitting and often very long letters, addresses, and other anxious labour, he retained unim- state papers, might have been omitted paired a kind and amiable disposition. with advantage. Though it is the A firmness and determination, which habit or necessity of Indian statesmight have become a military hero, men to write much, it is not the habit were in him based entirely on sense of English readers to plod diligently of duty, not on the sentiment of per- through official correspondence. Mr sonal pride, and were therefore com- Kaye seems aware that he has made patible in him with a simplicity and some mistake of this description ; gentleness of temper which might but as the book was written, he conbave become a woman. Nowhere tents bimself with answering some surely shall we find, in more complete imaginary objections in the preface. unison, an affectionate nature and These objections—which are not

The Life and Correspondence of Charles Lord Metcalfe. By WILLIAM KAYE.

precisely the same as his reader will If Mr Kaye objects to this usage of be disposed to make-are answered his book, as being somewhat of a in a manner so easy and ingenious, piratical character, we shall content and which admits of so ready an ap- ourselves with replying that, “Rightly plication to every possible dilemma or wrongly, we do it systematically in which an author can find himself, -advisedly." that it would be injustice to pass itIt does not appear to us that Mr unnoticed. Mr Kaye says in his pre- Kaye is open to the charge of writing face-"The records of Metcalfe's in that spirit of adulation so often early life some may think have, in displayed by the friendly biographer ; these pages, been unduly amplified. and we are therefore a little surprised But, rightly or wrongly, what I have that he should deal so liberally, espedone, I have done advisedly, systema cially at the outset, in an epithet tically." And further on, when he which the world in general confines presumes his reader may object to bis to a chosen few. “When Metcalfe fulness of historical detail, he says, became great," "before his great“Such a stricture would not be with: ness," are expressions which startled out justice-50 far, at least, as regards us a little. Receiving our impression the fact. But here again, if I have entirely from the memoirs before us, erred, I have erred designedly, and we yet should not speak of Mr Metafter mature consideration." Whether calfe as a great man. He was an the reader will derive any comfort or excellent man, and amongst the satisfaction from being told that the highest order of public servants, and weariness which occasionally oppresses a better man than many whom we him was inflicted systematically, de call great; but he does not stand out signedly, and “after mature consi. so completely from the throng of men deration," may perhaps be doubtful. as to justify this epithet. We really Something, indeed, seems to be added think that Mr Kaye was led into the about the system which is accom- use of it by an unconscious imitation panied with this inconvenient result; of that youthful diary from which he but the whole ends in this, that what has been extracting, and where it is a ever Mr Kaye does, he does with his very favourite word. What we find eyes perfectly wide open-a fact which in the character and career of Metwe have not the least disposition to calfe, is a noble specimen of the men dispute, and which, it seems, ought whom England breeds in her public to silence any further opposition. schools and public life: a man of

The defence, however, is as grave practical sagacity, of steadfast deterprobably as the nature of the fault mination, of unimpeachable integrity; required. Some share of tediousness, generous and affectionate in his private more or less, seems inevitable in the life, and animated by a due admixture biography of a civilian and a states of personal ambition and sense of man. Besides, what could Mr Kaye duty in his public career. We say a do ? The friends or the trustee of due admixture of these, because a the deceased commit to his discretion man will do very little in the world at whole boxes of letters, memoranda, all, unless he feels the promptings of diaries, addresses, one knows not ambition; and certainly very little what. Not to select a considerable good in it, unless he is directed by a handful from all these boxes would strong sense of duty. seem to cast a slight upon their con- One trait in bis intellectual charactents. And after all, the reader has ter presents itself at the outset, and his remedy in his own hands—at his it is distinctive not only of himself, but fingers' ends; and we can conscien- of the majority of educated Englishtiously say, that, with the aid occa- men. The sagacity requisite for the sionally of a rapid manipulation of hour is combined with decision, and the pages, these memoirs of Lord steadfastness of purpose; you have Metcalfe will be found both an enter the man of action, of administrative taining and instructive work. For ability, completely before you ; but our part, we shall endeavour to put there is the utter absence of all spetogether, in a brief compass, some culative thought. Beyond the emerportion of its most interesting matter. gency of the present times, or the

VOL. LXXVII.-NO, CCCCLXXII.

f man to oppos

what

plain duties for the next generation, stance of the weakness of the human whether these concern government, or mind. He has entered on a discussion of laws, or religion-he neither sees, nor too great magnitude for his understandmakes effort to see. Neither in the

Coffort to see Neither in the ing. He has adopted the modern notion youth fresh from Eton, nor in the ruler

that Reason-Blessed Reason--ought to of Brahminical India, do we trace the

be our guide in matters of religion and

government, and that we are authorised least tendency to speculative thinking. There is no admixture of the philoso

ever is opposite to our reason. It is this phic element. Perhaps it could only fallacious, detestable principle which has have been purchased by the sacrifice loaded the world for the last twenty of some portion of the courage, deci- years with crime and misery. It is the sion, and activity of the man. We doctrine of Paine, Godwin, and the Devil are compelled reluctantly to confess ---the root of all vice and the bane of that this is the penalty generally paid every virtue. O Lord, I humbly call down for a participation in the medita- upon you to release me from this abomtive spirit. - A Sir James Mackintosh inable spirit, and to keep me steadfast in and a Sir Charles Metcalfe conld the right way!" hardly have been united in the same The piety of this prayer who can person. If the laws of mental chemis- doubt? But one cannot help remarktry do not absolutely forbid such a ing that a Scotch youth of the same combination, it is so rare that we have age might be equally pious, equally no right to feel disappointment at not steadfast in his faith, and perhaps meeting with it. We mention the more conversant with the several fact as characteristic of his class. The articles of his creed, but he never young Etonian (and if it had been the would have expressed the tenacity of young Oxonian, the case would not his convictions in this manner,- never have been different) was not likely to would have spoken of “ blessed reaquit the shores of England with any son" ironically. He never for a mospeculative tastes. In the classical edu- ment could have put his Faith in cation of England there is little room antagonism to Reason, however he for philosophy. The camp, the court, might have thought this latter word the republican city-war and peace abused by the Paines and Godwins of Homer and Horace-something the the day. His first and last boast young spirit learns of these. A long would bave been that his faith was line of Pagan deities is seen retreat- the perfection of reason. A Scotch ing through some Gothic vista. But, lad who had only breathed the air of for the rest, if anything divides the Glasgow, or of Edinburgh, would allegiance he pays to his own spiritual have never shrunk from intellectual hierarchy, it is Zeus and Pallas, Apollo contest, or professed that the creed and the Nine-not any abstraction he held and cherished was not in perof philosophy. He may have almost fect harmony with the truly blessed made room in his imagination for reason. He would as soon have more gods than his Church is cogni- thought of proclaiming himself a lusant of, but it is not the clouds which natic in the public streets, and avowmetaphysicians, those untamable Ti. ing a preference for a slight shade of tans, raise up against all spiritual insanity. Such distinction we cannot thrones, which have bewildered him, help noticing between the systems of “Metaphysics, I abhor you !" cries education in England and Scotland, young Metcalfe, then between the ages but we have no intention of pursuing of eighteen and nineteen. One glance the subject, or drawing any laboured he must have thrown in that direction comparison between their respective even to have abhorred; but every- merits. thing assures that it was a very hasty Still less do we by this observation glance. Judging from the materials his intend to throw disparagement on the biographer has given us, he was never subject of these memoirs. Academical tempted into a nearer acquaintance education of any kind was dealt in with this detested shadow. Here is a very scanty measure ; and if he does quotation from the Commonplace Book. not rise into higher regions of thought “[Etat. 18-19.)

than his own duties require, he is “HUMAN MIND.-M- is a strong in- always seen equal to those duties. If we do not trace in him the least dreamt early of becoming "great;” scintilla of a Sir William Jones or a and his dreams of greatness took the Colebrooke-if he lives in India, care- form of high official appointments. less of what profound philosophy or He will be a statesman; he will one mystical thinking may lie half hidden day lay his hand on the reins of in that Brahminical religion which government—will dictate treatieshas retained possession of the country will harangue in senates will sit in some thousands of years, and still councils. continues to exercise & subtle and An indisposition to athletic exerpotent influence over the character of cises was in him indicative of no the people,he is nevertheless pre- effeminacy of character. On the concisely the man to point out and mark trary, he has great firmness of purdown the line of conduct to be at this pose ; and throughout his career an moment pursued towards that reli- open manly spirit pervades all his gion. He it is who sees with singu- conduct. In boyhood, whilst he relar clearness what is due to the reli- treats from the play-ground to write gious conviction of the populace, and moral reflections in his journal, one what to the common claims of human- favourite subject for his pen is the ity. He would respect a temple-he superiority of a public school, with all would abolish the suttee; and if, in its trials, temptations, and petty arguing on abstract questions or oppression, over the more timid sysgeneral principles of government, he tem of private education. In more may sometimes be caught tripping, advanced youth we find him at some sometimes convicted of inconsisten- siege in India, deserting the safe cies, it may be said with perfect position which his diplomatic missafety of him that he has displayed in sion assigned him, to enter, sword his career more of practical and effi. in hand, into the deadly breach. cient statesmanship than a whole His frame, which was short and batch of orators—a whole corps of thick-set, was not probably adapted popular members of the House of for success in any achievement where Commons.

strength and suppleness of limb were Though reared in England, Charles necessary; but he bore a brave heart Metcalfe was born in India, at Cal- within him, and had the true spirit of cutta, in the year 1785; but he was a soldier. He had, too, many of the still very young when his parents quit. qualities which fit men for command ted that country. We hear of him be- in armies - self-reliance, steadfast ing “boarded and birched," as our bio- resolution, promptitude of decision. grapher has it, at some juvenile semin- The elder brother, Theophilus, was ary, kept by a Mr Tait. At the age in many respects a contrast to of eleven he was forwarded to Eton. Charles, being fond of sports and Here he was very studious. He left most other pleasures except those of a before he was sixteen ; yet in these sedentary nature. few years he appears, in addition to

« The breaches between them," says the prescribed studies of the schools,

our biographer, “were frequent-as freto have read very sedulously in the

quent they will be between boys of difliterature of England. Nor had he

ferent character, each with pretensions of neglected the languages of France and his own, each, after his own fashion, Italy. He was a quiet, retiring boy; egotistical and intolerant (and there is no his play-hours were spent amongst egotism and intolerance equal to that of his favourite books. Neither the clever boys); but there was a fund of “flying ball," nor the boat race, good brotherly love at the bottom of their nor any athletic games, had attrac

hearts, even when they were most vehetion for bim, nor had he any apti

ment in their denunciations of each other. tude for them. It is said that he

All through the year 1799 this fraternal could never, at any period of his life,

antagonism seems to have been at its learn to ride. Books and tranquil

height. Their good mother declared that

she quite dreaded the approach of the Iriendships were his delight; but, as holidays on this account, and strenuis so often the case with these retir ously exhorted them to peace. Her ing tempers, he nursed nevertheless a exhortations were not at all successpersisting unobtrusive ambition. He ful. Early in November the two bro

thers fell to quarrelling over the politics for ten or twelve years from all friends of the day. Charles was at that time, and relations ?” like his father, a Pittite ; whilst Theo

But Charles had as little disposiphilus was in opposition. Charles declared that the ministers' were the only

tion to quit England as Theophilus. men capable of governing the country,

He replied to this, and other letters and called his brother a democrat. Upon

on the subject, that he hoped his this Theophilus fired up, and, adverting brother would not be offended; but if to the expedition to Holland, asked what the decision were left with him, “he was to be said of 'ministerial liberality would have nothing to do with the which now accuses the Russians, accuses China factory." Charles, however, the Austrians, accuses everything-but was never called upon to refuse the those who would have taken all the

expedition to China, for he himself credit if it had succeeded. So much for

was destined to Bengal. ministers--for the only men that can govern the country !'”

“Whilst these young gentlemen were But these boyish encounters and arranging for themselves the business of boyish feuds were soon entirely to be

their future disposal, the elder Metcalfes forgotten, and changed into brotherly

were settling everything for them, and

leaving little choice to the boys. Both, love by the long separation that was

after a few years, acknowledged that destined for them. To be the sons of their parents were right. But when it an East Indian Director, was to be was finally decided-and all escape from banished to wealth and prosperity at the decision was impossible--that Theothe other end of the world. Theophi- philus should be despatched to China, and lus was the first who received sentence that Charles should go as a writer to of exile. He had no sooner left Eton Bengal, the two boys were ready to die and begun to enjoy his freedom and with vexation. Charles was very sorry independence, and all the pleasures

to leave Eton. He loved the school ; he of his age, “ making friends, falling

loved his tutor; he loved many of his

schoolfellows; and he loved his books. in love, acting at masquerades, and

He was sorry to think of leaving Engdrinking his wine like a man," than

land, for he loved his parents, and he he heard that he was to be despatched

loved his sisters. Mrs Metcalfe, though to China. He was to grow rich at Theophilus was her favourite, sometimes the Company's Factory at Canton acknowledged that Charles was the more very rich; probably very yellow also; dutiful and attentive of the two. By his at all events, he was to be saturated sisters, into whose school-room he would with gold in the golden land of make frequent disturbing incursions, he

was held in the fondest affection. He The intelligence was dismal in the was very loving and very lovable. He extreme. One chance of escape oc

was not one who could be banished to a curred to him. Would not his brother

distant country without grievous laceraCharles like to go and gather gold in

tion of the heart." China, and leave him to present en. In addition to all these loves, here joyment in England ? He makes the enumerated so energetically, was one disinterested proposal.

of a still more tender description. To “When I consider," he writes to his

add to his affliction at departure, poor brother, “ of the difference between you

Charles must meet at a ball a certain and me, I am astonished. You a studious

fascinating Miss D- , whose graces, e fellow, studving five hours a-day: both of mind and person, made a deep me a wild idle dog, who does not look impression on him. He had to leave into a book from the rising to the setting England with this arrow in his bosom. of the sun. You who would like to go to It is remarkable that this is the only China and make a large fortune; me, who attachment of the kind we read of in would like to stay in England and spend his whole life. Though, at a subsewhat I have. Would, Charles, that you

quent period, his gentle manner, his were to bend your way to China in my

courtesy, his hospitality, made him stead! And I know not why I should be refused remaining in England, when I

the favourite of all the fair sex in seem so anxiously to wish it. What, be. Calcutta, not one of them seems to cause the world styles it good, is a young have touched his heart. From all man to be sent to a place which least of that appears, he passed through life all suits his disposition, to be shut up a steady and determined bachelor.

Cathay.

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