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So saying, he made me read from a French memoir recently published at Paris :
“ La Marquise de Pompadour n'etait pas heureuse. Que lui manquait-il donc ? La paix de l'ame, première condition de bonheur. Devorée de chagrins; excitant de l'envie ; profondement affligée du malheur de viellir; honteuse, comme elle dit, d'avoir servir des hommes mediocres qui n'ont su faire
et des bassesses ; adorée de milles gens ; aimée de personne; lasse et même detrompée de la faveur, elle demandait quelquefois à la fortune de l' en debarrasser ; et l'instant après elle revoquait un vou dont l'accomplissement l'eut desesperée."
“Now," added Lord Castleton, we have only, in this account, to change a marquise for a makquiss and we have here a pretty good picture of any courtier or minister of an ill-regulated ambition. Certainly the want of the paix de l'ame, première condition de bonheur, may attend my lord as well as my lady; certainly, also, if he has not (perhaps even if he has) a philosophic mind, he
philosophic mind, he may be devoré de chagrins, and, according to his character (though, thank heaven, that is not my predicament), may be profondement affligé du malheur de viellir. It is It is very certain that he may have pr
promoted des hommes médiocres (no reflection upon your excellency), and repented of it; and too true,
* Essai sur la M. de Pompadour.
that he may be worshipped by numbers, and beloved of none. Finally, let me wind up with the falling Wolsey
‘O! how wretched
I was struck with the energy, denoting sincerity, with which he uttered this, and waited silently, in the hope that he would continue, which he presently did,
“Nobody,” said he, “would believe me if I affected to despise political ambition ; but this I am sure of, that one page of this book (pointing to the volume of Boyle) studied in the closet, with a heart expanding to the bounties and wonders of the Creator there described, makes all the glittering pageants of party success mean in comparison."
The emphasis of his manner increased as he went on with this, and I continued at first quite silent ; pondering, in fact, these very weighty considerations, and happy in being thought worthy of his confidence in a matter of some delicacy, when treated by a minister.
At length I ventured to ask, whether these remarks were not applicable to the meridian of
despotic countries, France or Germany, rather than England.
“ I have heard," said I, “that a minister out of office abroad is what is called disgracié, that is, banni à ses terres; or perhaps to Siberia ; which they hold to be disgrace enough. But an English minister often triumphs in turning his back upon his
power; at least, so he asserts." “ Do not believe him," said Lord Castleton, even if he swore it. I do not deny that a man who has altogether miscalculated his own powers and character, and is totally unfit for what his vanity prompted him to court, or his weakness to accept, from persons as mistaken about him as himself-I do not deny that such a man, fit only to talk of bullocks or sail on a duck-pond, may be so frightened and pummelled by a rough sea, as to be glad to be relieved, even though he be hissed out of office. Lord
was hissed out of office, and was more happy in the relief than ashamed of the disgrace. But the pleasure of such a man upon his resignation, as you call it, can no more stamp him with the character of either dignity or philosophy, than a general who avoids a battle from cowardice can acquire the character of discretion. All other men, who are either dismissed from their power, or feel forced, whether by honour or necessity, to resign it, be assured do so with a secret regret ; at least, I never knew but one Lord Waldegrave.”
Upon my begging to understand this allusion, he told me that, in the time of George II., Lord Waldegrave, who had been his earliest friend when he first embarked in politics, had continued, against his wish, in the high post of governor of the Prince of Wales, now George III., solely to oblige the king - that he laboured to lay down his place for some time in vain, and applying to the Duke of Newcastle to assist him in doing so, his grace was absolutely astonished that such a thing could enter into a man's head, and had not a conception that his situation could be unpleasant.“ Perhaps," said Lord Waldegrave, “measuring my feelings by his own, and thinking that from four years' practice in politics I must have lost all sensi
“ No;" continued Lord Castleton. « Believe that there are many more Dukes of Newcastle than Lords Waldegrave, among ministers when they retire. They may put a bold face upon it, and appear to themselves (to use your expression) to quit in triumph. They may even, if they please, fly in the face of the king, and affect to laugh at his court; perhaps heroically abuse his person ; but, voluntary or not, there is scarcely one that does not sigh over his departure in secret, and would not hail with joy the moment of his return."
* Waldegrave's Memoirs, 70.