Imatges de pÓgina

--an infinite variety of tastes to be consulted, an infinite variety of attractions to be displayed ;

“ Add nature's, custom's, reason's, passion's strife,

And all opinion's colours cast on life;" and then, though we will not use Imlac's words, and exclaim, “ Enough! thou convincest me; no man living may be a novelist;" — yet, it must be confessed, the task has its full share of difficulties.

Constantine George Phipps Lord Normanby, (now Earl of Mulgrave,) was born in 1797.* Most of the peerages fall into the error of stating that the family is descended from Sir William Phipps, the ingenious inventor of the diving-bell, who in reality left no offspring. The Phipps are originally of Lincolnshire extraction. In the time of Charles I. Colonel Phipps raised a regiment on his estate, joined the Cavaliers at their head, and fell in battle. His great grandson married the heiress of the Duchess of Buckinghamshire; and hence Mulgrave Castle and the title came into the family. Lord Normanby was educated at Harrow. They say a school is a little republic : and perhaps, having to stand up for his own rights, gave his Lordship the first lesson of respect for those of others. If we adopt Wordsworth's theory, that “ the boy is father to the man,” the young Constantine, despite his descent from the Cavaliers, early imbibed those liberal principles on which he has so undeviatingly acted. At Trinity College, Cambridge, he took his degree as M. A. before he was quite nineteen. On coming of age t his Lordship was elected Member for Scarborough, a borough for which some of his family had sat for near fifty years. Politics are no part of literary notices like these; but, before we proceed to criticism, we cannot deny ourselves the gratification of briefly tracing Lord Normanby's Parliamentary


It will be necessary to premise, that his father, Lord Mulgrave, was a private friend and staunch supporter of both Mr. Pitt and his principles; (Hoppner's celebrated picture of that Minister is in Mulgrave Castle ;) and to this standard of political excellence our youthful member could not, and would not defer. His maiden speech on the Catholic Question was eminently successful; and, at the special request of the Catholic Board, it was published for them

For the sake of correcting some errors, and also as it recalls names long sinée associated with polite literature, we subjoin a brief account of the Mulgrave pedigree. Colonel Phipps's grandson, Sir Constantine, was Lord Chancellor in Ireland during the latter years of Queen Anne, and Sir Constantine's son, William, married Katherine, only daughter and heiress of Katherine Duchess of Buckinghamshire and Normanby, who was herself the natural daughter and heiress of James II., by Katherine Sedley Countess of Dorchester. Lady Katherine Phipps succeeded to the estates belonging to Mulgrave Castle, in Yorkshire, upon the untimely death of her half-brother, the young Duke of Buckingham, whose early loss is deplored by Pope in a touching epitaph. The son of the William, mentioned above, Constantine Lord Mulgrave, was grandfather of the present Lord Mulgrave; and his uncle, to whose title his father succeeded, was a distinguished naval officer, a Lord of the Admiralty, and, in earlier life, the conductor and commander of an expedition to the North Pole, then considered a most extraordinary undertaking, and of which he published an account.

The same year Lord Norinanby married ·Maria, eldest daughter of Lord Ravensworth. He has one son, George Augustus Constantine, (to whom the late King was godfather,) born July 28, 1819.

by Ridgway, in the shape of a pamphlet. The very first resolutions on Reform ever proposed by Lord John Russell were seconded by Lord Normanby, in a long and convincing speech; to which the objection then urged by many publications was, that it went too far on Reform, and exceeded the specific resolutions he was seconding. A few days after this his Lordship retired to the Continent, and resigned his seat, in which he had ever unhappily found his private feelings and obligations in constant opposition to his sense of public duty.

For the next two years he resided in Italy. On his return to England, several pamphlets of the day were ascribed to him ; and one of them, we believe, was his Lordship's production: it was entitled “ Remarks on the Bill for the Disfranchisement of Grampound. By a Member of the last Parliament.” Entering ably and generally into the question of Reform, it exposed the excessive contradictions between the present distribution of the elective franchise, and both the population and property of the country. In 1822 Lord Normanby was again returned to Parliament for the borough of Higham Ferrars; and, impressed with the conviction of the imperative necessity of retrenchment, he brought forward a motion for cutting off half that plural-unit, the Joint Postmaster-General, which, upon a division, was negatived by a few votes. But, in the course of the debate, the maintenance of useless offices was openly vindicated as necessary to the influence of the crown; and this was followed up by the discovery of a circular to Government members, from the Secretary of the Treasury, in which Lords Normanby and Althorp, and Mr. Creevey were by name denounced as acting upon a system to destroy that legitimate influence of the crown. The document was brought before the House by Lord John Russell, and gave rise to an animated discussion. Lord Normanby took the unusual step of bringing the question before the House in another shape: his motion for an address to the Crown on the subject was carried by a small majority, and the duplicate office abolished. Malton was the next borough for which he sat; and his last act in the House of Commons was a motion of inquiry into the mysterious causes whịch led to a dissolution of the Ministry formed after Mr. Canning's death. No details were elicited : “ confusion was left worse confounded;" but public attention was keenly awakened on the subject. The ill health of his father prevented Lord Normanby from resuming his seat; so that he took no part in the late debates on Reform. But the battle has yet to be fought in another field, where we hope to see Lord Mulgrave take a conspicuous part, worthy of one who has always been the constant and consistent advocate of retrenchment and Reform.

We now turn to Lord Normanby's literary career, in which he has just done enough to make us regret that he has not done more. He is a Froissart of fashion, one who writes what he knows, and describes what he has seen. His novels are actual pictures of actual scenes, which will, some years hence, be referred to as authentic histories of national manners: confined to certain classes, it is true, but no more confined than the ancient chronicler above mentioned, who dwells

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eloquently on the death of the noble knight; details how he called on his patron saint, or his fair ladye; states what colours he wore, and how gallantly he fell, together with what masses were sung, and what wax tapers were burnt for his soul ; but dismisses those of low estate in a brief phrase of “how at that time fell some fifty of the common sort.” Solomon says there is nothing new under the sun; and in this instance his Jewish majesty was most accurate.

The present (or even while we write, we may say, perhaps, past, for every thing about us is changing) disdain of every thing not fashionable, is exactly the old disdain of every thing not military-human vanity building a fortification of contempt, but in another style of architecture.

The scheme of society has for years been as complicated as curious. Rank and wealth, like the lion and the unicorn, “ fought about the crown;" and, with that very usual finish to mortal dispute, a third potentate stepped in, and took the supremacy-fashion. There being no court where reception was a kind of letter of marque to the social pretender, the government fell into the hands of a junta, a sort of Venetian Council of Ten, who, like most governments, found that what is pretended to, is usually conceded, if demanded boldly enough ; and that hope and fear are the alpha and omega of dominion. And of this social state we shall only observe, that if there was much impertinence, and more pretension, there was also much ease, much grace, and much refinement: and any aristocracy is better than an unmodified one of wealth, the most coarse and overbearing in the world. To the nouveaux riches who arrive in Grosvenorsquare with all of luxury except its refinement, we are tempted to apply Dr. Johnson's words :-“ You have lost the civility of the tradesman, without acquiring the politeness of the gentleman.” Again ; the uncontrolled ascendancy of rank is to be deprecated: for, barricaded by prejudices, and entrenched in privileges, the unchecked noble is apt to forget his very humanity. With all its faults, follies, &c. fashion has been useful, if it were only for its insolence to those to whom insolence was a surprise. The worst of fashion is, that it fills

“ Half the land with imitating fools." For accuracy, keen perception of the ridiculous, for happy flinging of " wit's diamond arrows,” Lord Normanby has no equal. The opening scene in “ Matilda” has all the reality of life, and all the humour of a comedy. Still “ Matilda” is, we must confess, not our favourite work. We object to such attraction being thrown round guilt. The fault of the heroine is, we like her too much. Now, we hold, that the horror entertained of it is one of the most general preservatives against vice; and how much is this horror weakened when vice is made so very interesting. “ Yes and No” is, to our taste at least, a most delightful tale. The two heroes are the personifications of the negative and affirmative principles—a little too antithetical, perhaps, as all abstract ideas are, when embodied; but well kept up throughout. Germaine is a very natural sketch of a young man easily led, and as easily turned. Curious, that though we are so reluctant to follow advice, we are so ready to follow example. Perhaps Lady Latimer's is the most perfectly wrought-out character in the book. It is an admirable female delineation;

“ Liked for its very faults ;" delightful in its slight vanities, its yielding to pleasures,

“ Although they be the frivolous, the vain;" and redeeming all by a frankness, and a kindly affectionate disposition, which the world cannot spoil. The scenes are very amusing where Germaine, after his stay on the Continent, meets again with his private tutor and his daughter: they are equally lively and likely: The nonsense that is talked about first love !-as if there were any thing in the world to which one looks back upon with such feelings of mingled horror and dismay as a first attachment. The election, too, is excellent. Mr. Stedman, who, “as a representative of the soil, carried an acre or two of it upon his boots and leather breeches,” and looked the “ agricultural interest to perfection,” is quite an historical picture.

Both these novels have been translated into French; “ Matilde" by the Countess Moté, and is prettily done, allowing for a few blunders. The translation of “ Yes and No” is very inferior : one remark will show the ignorance of the “ doer”—

-we can use no better expression :-“This is not the first time that the reader will perceive that the Author is a Tory." We really should like to know from whence this ingenious conclusion is drawn; for Lord Normanby's liberal principles are very obvious in “ Yes and No." His Lordship is also the Author of two charming little tales, “Clorinda” and “The Prophet of St. Paul's.”

For some years Lord Normanby fixed his residence at Florence, where his absence is now severely felt. His private theatricals were a great source of delight; and nothing could exceed the accuracy of costume with which the plays of Shakspeare were got up."

But the Earl of Mulgrave has now a wider theatre before him, and in that we cordially wish him the most brilliant success.

He has talents that may command it; his consistency has never been questioned; and though, perhaps justly, proud of his “ order," he has ever been a friend of the people, and the advocate of popular rights. He has also another advantage—and in a Statesman it is conceived to be no light matter-his personal appearance is greatly in his favour : he has a fine manly and expressive countenance, and his bearing is that of a perfect gentleman, without the slightest mixture of that foppery which too often accompanies “ rank and fashion.”

It requires no prophetic skill to foresee that a time is not far distant, when the name of the present Earl of Mulgrave will occupy a prominent station in the political history of the country. There are few men in either House of Parliament better calculated to sustain any of the higher offices in the State.


The French are sadly ill provided for undertaking a representative and constitutional mode of government. They want all the requisites--the habitude, the tradition, in the first place, the common law of freedom, which not all the comprehensive vagueness of political theory, nor yet the pedantic precision of the written statute can supply. They want both things and men, being alike without fixed principles or parties, without administrators or debaters. The first is the most serious want; the last the most pressing one. It unfortunately happens, that all the personages of official habits and

experience are attached, naturally enough, to the school in which they served ; viz. the Restoration. They are Carlists, in fine, and not to be trusted. How to replace them? By Bonapartists? But the statesmen of the Imperial reign, those who survive, are utterly unfit. They are without Parliamentary babits, and are as incapable of debating, as of following that temperate and fair line of conduct, which is alone compatible with a free press and free institutions. All means have been tried to remedy the great defect. Ministers have been called from the army-list, from the counting-house, and from the academie chair. But none have answered. The public voice, in declaring itself neither violent nor reactionary, in short, not averse to the principles of existing administrations, has nevertheless cried out, that the members be changed. And the King, through the medium of M. Thiers, has replied :-“ Gentlemen, I would willingly gratify you, if it were in my power ; but I really do not know where to find a man of capacity, whereof to make a minister. We have had a score within the twelvemonth. The list of notabilités is exhausted." To this fais excuse of the Monarch, his partisans add, that the extreme left, or opposition, could not furnish a ministerial list. And they proceed to discuss its more prominent members. Odillon Barrot stands first, a young and a poor lawyer : but, supposing his probity, he has no influence, save a popularity founded upon vehemence, and certain to evaporate in the first fortnight of his ministry, since it has already suffered from certain inklings of moderation. Still, he would make a good Home Minister. To the portefeuille of Foreign Affairs, who could pretend? Mauguin certainly could not be denied the place. And all know Mauguin to possess the debts and profligacy of Mirabeau, without his talent. Salverte and Tracy are book-learned gentlemen, theorists and pedants : all the objections to Guizot rise up against them. After these, who can be enume. rated ? La Fayette is superannuated, at least for the ministry. To this catalogue raisonné the man of the left replies, by pointing out the egregious blunders of Sebastiani, and the nullity of every personage, Perier excepted, on the Ministerial bench, from Barthe the Chancellor, down to young Montalivet, the favourite, that was to have been a second Pitt, and failed. Whatever be the exaggeration on both sides, the truth is no less evident—the truth of that exclamation to be heard in every political knot throughout Paris; “ Il n'y a pas d'hommes; il nous manque des hommes ;" in other words, “ we want statesmen."

The other deficiency, that of party and its spirit, may seem at first sight an advantage. On the contrary, it is of the most serious inconvenience. Threefourths of mankind, if not a far greater proportion, were made to be led, and to bave opinions imposed on them, rather than submitted to their judgment. Nothing is so lamentable as a fool rebelling against this law, and making blun, ders to prove his independence. Such is precisely the case with the majority of the present French Chamber. It is, for the most part, composed, as we foretold, of little provincial celebrités, men guiltless of a political idea, but very anxious to appear honest and profound. Naturally moderate, terribly afraid of the Republic and Republicanism ; alike afraid of Carlism and absolutism, they seek a middle term-a juste milieu betwixt both; and, for the life of them, cannot find one. Now Perier is this juste milieu ; but to support a minister blindly would be a slur on their independence; and therefore they show a

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