« VorigeDoorgaan »
husband, to lament deeply the want of a by Dr. Arbuthnot of the intercourse more intimate acquaintance with her as between Sir William Temple and the Lady Temple. Enough appears in the Irish president of the Royal Society :mention occasionally made of her by Sir William Temple and the famous Temple, and his correspondents to show Lord Brouncker, being neighbours in the that she enjoyed his full confidence. It country, had frequently very sharp conis one of the advantages which a politician tentions: like other great men one would possesses who is honest and firm in his not bear an equal, and the other would principles, and has no intrigue in his dis not admit a superior. My Lord was a position, that he can freely communicate great admirer of curiosities, and had a with an intelligent wife, upon matters very good collection, which Sir William which are necessarily of the greatest im- used to undervalue, on all occasions portance to himself, and that he can tell disparaging everything of his neighher of his own deeds and thoughts upon bour's, and giving something of his own public affairs without corrupting her mind the preference.' This by no means or conveying to it misgivings as to his pleased his lordship, who took all opporown rectitude.
An upright man with a tunities of being revenged. One day, as sensible and good wife, has a second con- they were discoursing together of their science, less easy than the other to be several rarities, my lord very seriously cajoled or disregarded. The following and gravely replied to him, • Sir William, notice of Lady Temple is in the additions so no more of the matter; you must at to Lady Gifford's manuscript:- She length yield to me, having lately got somewas a very extraordinary woman, as well thing which it is impossible for you to as a good wife, of whom nothing more obtain; for my Welsh steward has sent need be said to her advantage, than that me a flock of geese; and these are what she was not only much esteemed by his you can never have, since all your geese friends and acquaintances, some of whom are swans.' were persons of the greatest figure, but « Lord Dartmouth, whose annotations, valued and distinguished by such good upon Burnet's History of his Own Times, judges of true merit as King William have lately brought him before the public, and Queen Mary, with whom she had appears to have been in his youth fathe bonour to keep a constant corres- miliarly acquainted with Sir William pondence, being justly admired for her Temple; the only anecdote which he tine style and delicate turn of wit and gives us, evinces the freedom with which good sense in writing letters; and whom the old diplomatist conversed with young (the Queen) she outlived about a month, men, (for Dartmouth was at the time the deep affliction for her Majesty's de- only 20 years old,) as well as his appreciplorable death having hastened her own. ation of republican writers. When
“We do not hear of any intercourse Sidney's large book upon government,' between Temple and the other literary says Lord Dartmouth, came out in the men of his age. Probably his employ- reign of Kiny William, Sir William ments and residence abroad had connected Temple asked me if I had seen it: I told him almost exclusively with politicians, him I had read it all over; he could not until so late a period of his life, that now help admiring at my patience, but desired that he had forsworn politics, and devoted to know what I had thought of it: I said himself to his library and his garden—he it seemed to me wrote with a design to had no opportunity of diverting the destroy all government. Sir William course of his acquaintance. John Evelyn Temple answered, that it was for want was only a few years older than Temple, of knowing the author; for there was and had in common with him a love of one passage in it which explained the books and plants, neutrality in the revo whole, which was this: If there be any Jution, and retirement in Surrey; but such thing as divine right, it must be there was no intimacy, apparently no where one man is better qualified to acquaintance, between these eminent govern another than he is to govern
Had Evelyn, indeed, been at himself; such a person seems by God Temple's side when he wrote upon an and nature designed to govern the other cient and modern learning, the Fellow of for his benefit and happiness. Now, I that the Royal Society might have taught knew him very well can assure you that him to pay greater respect to the disco- he looked upon himself to be that very veries of Newton and Harvey.
man so qualitied to govern the rest of “ An anecdote without date, and mankind." without reference to authority, is related Temple's personal intercourse with
of his age.
Algernon Sidney was chiefly in their was impatient of the least susearly life. In the reign of Charles the picion or jealousy from those he loved ; Second he was very guarded in his con often reflected his own happiness in a ference with so obnoxious and dangerous wife that was pleased to see him so, and a man; and so far as we can judge from in return was easy to consent to anything Sidney's letters at the time of the council she liked. He was ever tied to the scheme, no intimacy had been renewed memory of those he had once loved and between these two persons, whose cha- esteemed; wounded to the heart by grief racters greatly differed, during that period, upon the many losses of his children and when conciliation of popular leaders was friends, till recovered by reason and phithe momentary feeling of the court." losophy, and that perfect resignation to
This conversation with Lord Dart. Almighty God which he thought so abmouth, which the date of the publica solutely a part of our duty upon these tion of the discourse upon government sad occasions of his saying "His holy fixes in the year 1698, is the last re
name be praised! His will be done!' corded occurrence in the life of Sir he was not without strong aversions, so
“ With this warmth in his kindness, William Temple. To the memoirs of her brother which he disliked, and impatient of their con
as to be uneasy at the first sight of some Lady Gifford wrote was affixed “ character” describing him as he was in expostulations, which made him hate the
versation; apt to warm in disputes and 1690, about the 63d
one and avoid the other, which he used Some of the most interesting parts of to say might sometimes do well between this sketch are now for the first time lovers, but never between friends. He published After describing his per turned his conversation to what was more son and his lively wit and humour in easy and pleasant, especially at table, conversation, she adds:
where he said ill humour ought never “ He never seemed busy in his greatest
to come, and that those who could employments, and was such a lover of not leave it behind for the time, ought liberty, that I remember when he was to stay away with it. young, and his fortunes low, to have He never ate abroad when he could heard him say he would not be obliged, avoid it, and at home of as little as he for five hundred a year, to step over a thought fit for his company, always of gutter that was the street before his the plainest meats, but the best chosen, door. He hated the servitude of courts;
and commonly dining himself of the first said he could never serve for wages, por
dish, or whatever stood next him; and be busy (as one is so often there) to no
said he was made for a farmer and not a purpose, and never was willing to enter courtier, and understood being a shepherd upon any employment but that of a public and a gardener better than an ambasminister. He was a great lover of music, sador. If he was ever inclined to excess, seldom without it in his family; fond of it was in fruits, which by his care and pictures and statues, as far as his fortune application he was always furnished with would reach ; sensible extremely to good the best of from his own garden. He air and good smells, which gave him so loved the taste of good wines, and those great an aversion the town that he best that were least kiud to bim, and once passed five years at Sheen without drank them constantly, though never seeing it. The entertainments of his life above three or four glasses : thought life were the conversation of his friends, and not worth the care many were at to prescenes he had made pleasant about him serve it, and that 'twas not what we ate in his garden and house; riding and
or drank, but excess in either that was walking were the exercises he was most dangerous." pleased with after he had given over “ He naturally loved play, and very tennis; and when he was disabled from deep too, without any application, and by these two by the gout, passed much of reckoning his losses several years found his time in airing in his coach, that was himself every one of them so considerable not spent in his closet.
a loser he resolved to give it quite up. “ He had been a passionate lover, was “ He lived healthful till forty-two, a kind husband, and a kind and in- then began to be troubled with rheums dulgent father, a good master, and upon his teeth and eyes, which he attrithe best friend in world and the most buted to the air of Holland; and which constant; and knowing himself to be ended when he was forty-seven in the
gout, upon which he grew very melan According to his directions bis choly, being then ambassador at the heart was buried under a sundial, Hague.
which still remains in his garden ; and “ His fortune was never great, but very his body in Westminster Abbey, where different at the different parts of liis the tablet, which was afterwards set up life; he began the world and had several in conformity with his will, is still to children with but £500 a year, yet had be seen. always money by bim ; after his father's
His character has been sketched death it encreased to £1400, which was the most he ever had coming in besides the others, Fox in his historical work says
by some master-hands. Amongst Master of the Rolls' place of Ireland, of him :which King Charles the Second gave him the reversion of after his father, who
“ Even Sir William Temple, who apkept it during his life. And the pre- pears to have been one of the most honest sents made him in his several embassies
as well as most enlightened statesmen of were laid out in the purchase and build- his time, could not believe his treachery ing his three houses, of which that in to be quite so deep as it was in fact, and London was wholly for his wife; and in
seems occasionally to have hoped that he what he laid out considered nothing of was in earnest in his professed intentions show, no more than in anything else but of following the wise and just system what he thought ttest for his family, that was recommended to him. Great and most convenient to that and himself. instances of credulity and blindness in Nothing was ever spared, so that those wise men are often liable to the suspicion who knew him little thought him rich; of being pretended, for the purpose of to whom he used to answer pleasantly, justifying the continuing in situations of that he wanted nothing but an estate; power and employment longer than strict and was really so, in having all he cared honour would allow.
But to Temple's for, nobody being less expensive upon sincerity bis subsequent conduct gives themselves, wore always 'the plainest abundant testimony. When he had stuffs, and for many years the same
reason to think that he could no longer colour. But nobody was ever
be useful to his country, he withdrew generous to his friends, or more charitable wholly from public business, and resoto the poor, in giving often to those who lutely adhered to the preference of philowanted it, except common beggars, who sophical retirement, which, in his circumhe chose rather to relieve by giving to stances, was just in spite of every tempthe parish than be troubled with crowdstation which occurred to bring him back of at his doors, though with such he was
to the more active scene. The remainder often moved too. I have known him to of his life he seems to bave employed give three hundred pounds at a time, often in the most noble contemplations and one hundred. He always rewarded his
most elegant amusements; every enjoyservants when they did well, and parted
ment heightened, no doubt, by reflecting with them when they did not; conversed
on the honorable part he had acted in with the meanest of them ; was all the
public affairs, and without any regret on life of his family, that looked as if they
his own account (whatever he might feel had no life when he was out of it, which for his country) at having been driven
from them." no man I believe was ever so seldom, from the youngest I ever remember him.” Again :“ He died at Moor Park in the be, character is a refutation of the vulgar
“ Sir William Temple, whose life and ginning of 1699, as we are informed
notion, that philosophy and practical good by this entry in a journal which Swift
sense in business are incompatible attainis said to have kept of his last illness.
ments." • January 27th, 1699 (N. S.) He died at one o'clock this morning, and with Nor can we dispense with the evihim all that was good and amiable dence of Sir James Mackintosh :
Further particulars of “ Sir William Temple was a his death we have none, except that a admirable person. He seems to be the sermon was preached at Farnham on model of a negotiator, uniting politeness the occasion of his death, by a clergy and address to honesty. His merit, as a man of the name of Savage.
domestic politician, is also very great: in
Charles the Second.
an age of extremes he was attached to infectedwith foreign idioms, is agreeable liberty, and yet averse from endangering and interesting. That mixture of vanity the public quiet. Perhaps diplomatic which appears in his works is rather a habits had smoothed away his turbulence recommendation to thein. By means too much for such a government as Eng- of it we enter into acquaintance with land.
the character of the author, full of honor, Foreigners also perceived, in union and humanity, and fancy that we are with great diplomatic address, the sim. engaged, not in the perusal of a book plicity and moderation of his character ;*
but in conversation with a companion. and for these, as much as for his politics, He adds, that of all the considerable King William, when Prince of Orange, writers of the age of Charles the preferred him to all other ambassadors.”
Second, he was almost the only one Hume's criticism on Temple's writ- who kept himself altogether unpolluted ings is given in a hasty but characte- by that inundation of vice and licenristic manner.
His style, he remarks, tiousness which overwhelmed the though extremely negligent, and even nation.
• « L'Angleterre en 1689 perdit dans un simple particulier un de ses principaux ornemens; je veux dire le Chevalier Temple, qui a également figuré avec la premiére réputation dans les lettres et dans les sciences, et dans celles de la politque et du gouvernment, et qui s'est fait un grand nom dans les plus grandes ambassades, et dans les premières médiations de paix générale. C'etait, avec beaucoup d'esprit, d'insinuation, et d'adresse, un homme simple d'ailleurs, qui ne cherchait point à paraître, et qui aimait à se réjouir, et à vivre libre, en vrai Anglais, sans aucun souci de l'élévation de bien ni de fortune. Il avait partout beacoup d'amis, et des amis illustres, qui s'honoraient de son commerce.'
."-Euvres de St. Simon, iv. 67.
GALLERY OF ILLUSTRIOUS IRISHMEN.-XO. V.
FLOOD - PART II.
It was when the exultation of the sudden defection from the ranks of people knew no bounds, at the reco government, and decided readoption very of what they deemed their con of a popular line of action, excited, in stitutional rights, that Mr. Flood first the highest degree, the ire of the parsuggested any doubts respecting the tizans of administration ; and the excompleteness of the measures pro- traordinary measure was had recourse posed for the entire security of the to of striking his name off the list of national independence. They were, the privy council, after he had voluntherefore, in no temper to listen to tarily surrendered his place. At the him with the patient attention that present crisis, the ministerial and the would be necessary to enable them to opposition parties were united ; and do justice to his argument; and he each expressed and exhibited towards stood, we believe, almost alone when him a portion of that rancour and bit. he first suggested any grave doubts terness which it was but natural that respecting the reasonableness of that they should feel; the one, because tumultuary gratitude with which the they conceived his bearing to be sedirepeal of the 6th of George the First tious and revolutionary ; the other, was regarded. He was looked upon because they conceived him to be acas a querulous and disaffected man, tuated by an unworthy jealousy of Mr. who felt envious of the rich harvest of Grattan, and an equally unworthy inpopularity which Grattan was at that gratitude for British generosity, as well time reaping for his patriotic labours. as distrust of British honor. His long secession from the ranks of The Irish are a mercurial and ima. opposition caused him to be regarded ginative people ; and it is not surpriswith suspicion and resentment by ing that the hallucinations of Gratian's many who had formerly been amongst splendid eloquence should, at such a the warmest of his friends ; and his season, have exerted a magical influ
ence over their minds. But Dugald think, too much, when he maintained Stewart has remarked, that, from the that, in accepting the constitution of days of Joannes Scotus, they have al 1782, the Irish parliament but reways been a people by whom logical asserted its original independence. reasoning has been held in high esteem; Flood was not less persuaded than and the specimens which they were Grattan of the great importance of now about to receive of Mr. Flood's what had been gained; but his penepowers in that particular, were well trating intellect led him to look narcalculated to extort their admiration. rowly to the foundation on which it Circumstances, also, aided the orator was built; and he did so with a gaze in producing the effect which he de- undazzled by the glory by which it sired, and satisfied many that there was surrounded. The very value was a foundation iu fact for the doubts which he set upon the recent acquisi. which were at first thought so prepos- tions, only made him the more soliterous and captious. Lord Mansfield, citous that they should be placed upon in the King's Bench in England, hesi- a lasting basis ; and his eagerness for tated not to adjudicate upon a writ of legal security, led him, we think, into error which had been sent from this a forgetfulness of that constitutional secountry previously to the late arrange- curity which the measures in question ment; as he was obliged, he said, to carried within themselves, and by adhere to the ancient usage of his which any more formal recognition of court, and he knew of no statute thein might well be thought to be su. which abrogated that usage. “ This perseded. They were but the devebusiness,” Mr. Hardy tells us, “of lopments of the national growth, which mere accident, (for it was evident that could, no longer be “ let or hindered” no writ of error could again be sent by the monopolizing spirit of the Brithere from Ireland,) threw the country tish legislature; and however the pruagain into a fame; and a casual judi- dent statesman might be led to fear cial proceeding was magnified into na- that the notions of national indepentional perfidy, and more than Cartha- dence might be pushed too far, he ginian breach of faith and compact.” might be excused for thinking that Thus, a reaction set in in favor of they would be pushed far enough ; Flood, at the very moment when his and that the time had gone by when popularity seemed extinct for ever. any retrogression of the spirit of liHis foresight was applauded; bis saya- berty should be seriously apprehended. city was admired; his early services When the rising power of the Comwere gratefully remembered; bis re mons is the procuring cause of any cent sacrifices were cordially appre- augmentation of the privileges of the ciated; and people in general seemed people, while that power continues to desirous of atoning for the unworthy rise, such augmentation may be consisuspicions which they had entertained dered secure; and he must have been of him, by every demonstration of the but an unprofitable student of the signs most enthusiastic respect and affection. of the times, who could gravely maintain
It is not our object to inquire who that reprisals may be made by the was right or who was wrong, in a mat crown upon that very increasing influ. ter which can no longer interest the ence by which its own legitimate aupractical statesman ; but it may be ge. thority is endangered. It is true, the nerally observed, that the differences case was somewhat different in 1782 ; between Flood and Grattan upon this as we had to fear not merely the regal, subject, may be explained, without im- but the democratic part of the British puting unworthy motives to either, by legislature; inasmuch as our free trade the differences in their mental consti- might be supposed as great an object tution. The one viewed the question of jealousy to the one, as our free conthrough the medium of intellect; the stitution to the other. Still neither other through the medium of imagina- could be resumed without the certion. Grattan clearly saw that a great tainty of convulsions that would have acquisition had been made ; and that, torn the empire asunder. It was clear in the nature of things, that acquisition that the partizans of provincial gocould not be resumed, and would not vernment had succumbed to the chama be relinquished. He assumed, we pions of natioual independence. The