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imagination; where endless conjectures supply the defects of unattainable knowledge, and too often usurp both its name and its influence.

He had a very handsome person, with a most engaging address in his air and manners; he had all the dignity and good-breeding which a man of quality should or can have, and which so few, in this country at least, really have.

He professed himself a deist, believing in a general Providence, but doubting of, though by no means rejecting, (as is commonly supposed) the immortality of the soul, and a future state.

He died of a cruel and shocking distemper, a cancer in his face, which he endured with firmness. A week before he died, I took my last leave of him with grief; and he returned me his last farewell with tenderness, and said, 'God, who placed me here, will do what he pleases with me hereafter; and he knows best what to do. May he bless you!'

Upon the whole of this extraordinary character, what can we say, but, alas! poor human nature, Chesterfield.


I MUCH question whether an impartial character of sir Robert Walpole will or can be transmitted to posterity; for he governed this kingdom so long, that the various passions of mankind mingled, and in a manner incorporated themselves, with every thing that was said or written concerning him. Never was man more flattered, nor more

abused; and his long power was probably the chief cause of both. I was much acquainted

with him, both in his public and his private life. I mean to do impartial justice to his character; and therefore my picture of him will, perhaps, be more like him than any of the other pictures drawn of him.

In private life he was good-natured, cheerful, social; inelegant in his manners, loose in his morals. He had a coarse, strong wit, which he was too free of for a man in his station, as it is always inconsistent with dignity. He was very able as a minister, but without a certain elevation of mind necessary for great good or great mischief. Profuse and appetent, his ambition was subservient to his desire of making a great fortune. He had more of the Mazarin than of the Richelieu. He would do mean things for profit, and never thought of doing great ones for glory.

He was both the best parliament man, and the ablest manager of parliament, that, I believe, ever lived. An artful, rather than an eloquent speaker; he saw, as by intuition, the disposition of the house, and pressed or receded accordingly. So clear in stating the most intricate matters, especially in the finances, that, whilst he was speaking, the most ignorant thought that they understood what they really did not. Money, not prerogative, was the chief engine of his administration; and he employed it with a success which in a manner disgraced humanity. He was not, it is true, the inventor of that shameful method of governing, which had been gaining ground insen

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 now 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 had 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, 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 his 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 vile 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-humour, 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.



LORD Granville had great parts, and a most uncommon 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 his ardent and imperious temper made him think were the only rational and practicable ones. would have been a great first minister in France, little inferior, perhaps, to Richelieu: in this government, which is yet free, he would have 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-humoured, 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 him from Oxford, and retained and practised ever afterwards. By his own industry, he had made himself master of all the modern languages, and had 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 nice precision, quick decision, and unbounded presumption. Chesterfield.


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 bu

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